Thousands marched to the capital on Tuesday October 8th, following a rally in support of immigration reform legislation. Members of Congress were also in attendance, and eight of them were among the 200 people who ended up getting themselves arrested for civil disobedience.
The rally, which was referred to as Camino Americano – also known as The American Way – featured federal legislators, musical acts and speakers. Those who attended recited chants and carried signs in an attempt to persuade the House of Representatives to vote in favor of a bipartisan bill for comprehensive immigration reform. The bill that was passed in the Senate earlier this year in June would provide a pathway to US citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently live in the country.
“We elected our representatives to Congress to handle a whole range of issues, and the time is now for immigration reform,” Center for American Progress member, Sharita Gruberg, told ABC’s Washington DC affiliate WJLA. “Eleven million can’t wait anymore.” Given that the federal government is currently shutdown, it is now highly unlikely that any immigration reform will be able to be passed prior to 2014, and many fear that the issue will be lost in the midst of next year’s elections.
Many protestors came from all over the country in order to attend the rally, including Congressman Maria Diaz-Balart. “We’re working in a bi-partisan way to quietly get votes, make sure it’s legislation that people understand so that we can get the votes to move forward.”