Some 200 activist groups from across the country have announced a nationwide campaign to push for immigration reform.
The Reform Immigration For America campaign was launched Monday at events in over 40 cities, according to organizers. A national launch in Washington D.C. is scheduled for Wednesday at the National Press Club, according to a press release. The coalition is also bringing 700 activists from at least 35 states to the national capital for a national summit between Wednesday and Friday that will include a “National Town Hall” on Thursday.
According to the announcement,
This groundbreaking, momentum-building effort organizes supporters of immigration reform into a stronger, more effective, and politically savvy national campaign that will help support President Obama and ensure that his promises of comprehensive immigration reform become legislative reality.
The launch seems in part geared to influence “a bipartisan and bicameral meeting” the White House will hold with members of Congress on June 8th to discuss immigration reform, according to the statement.
“Our current immigration system is broken, everybody knows that,” Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told the Public News Service before a launch in Chicago. “A reform will help America. It will be good for families, it will be good for workers and it would be good for our security.”
“It’s amazing to see the momentum for comprehensive immigration reform building from the grassroots up,” a blogger wrote at the pro-immigration blog Standing Firm.
The Las Vegas Sun has a slideshow on the launch there, featuring food workers union representatives, immigration attorneys, religious, business and community leaders, among others.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, Darcy Tromanhauser, director of immigrant integration and civic participation for the Nebraska Appleseed Center, told the Omaha World-Herald advocates are hopeful that comprehensive immigration legislation has a chance to pass this year.
“There’s a real posiblity of federal reform,” Tromanhauser said. “There’s a real moment of opportunity, we can’t afford to wait any longer to fix this broken system.”
In Georgia, state representative Pete Marin of Gwinnett County told Georgia Public Broadcasting News that undocumented workers need to be able to live in the U.S. “without fear of reprisals.”
People are afraid of getting out of their homes. People are afraid of engaging, of volunterism. People are afraid of going to the doctor, of going to the hospital. People are in fear. It is a sad story but I see families being split apart because of this, some of the racial laws that we’re having.