The United States government is going through one of its worst stages for some time, with a government shutdown having been imposed by Republicans who are determined to defund Obamacare, leaving injured war veterans, martyr’s families and people just waiting for their tax refunds struggling to deal with the situation.
Immigration reform might have been shoved into the background in this situation, especially with the increasing fear of debt default factored in as well, but immigration activists have made sure that this has not been the case, staging sit-ins and rallies throughout Washington DC and other big and small cities and towns. The issue has also been brought well and truly back into focus by the massive demonstration that took place on Tuesday in the heart of Washington.
Thousands of immigrants attended the demonstration in order to tell Republicans and Democrats – eight of whom were arrested by police – that they need to start taking the need for comprehensive immigration reform seriously or risk the consequences. Republicans who might have thought that immigration reform would be forgotten by the public in the wake of the government shutdown will certainly have found the experience an eye-opener.
Now the White House has called for the House of Representatives to show they care about immigrants by passing immigration reform. “More than 100 days ago, the Senate passed a strong bipartisan immigration bill that would reduce the deficit,” says White House press secretary Jay Carney. “It is time for House Republicans to put politics aside and join Democrats to fix our broken immigration system and make the economy stronger.”