The fate of immigration reform in the United States could be decided in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party, once Congress returns from a five-week break in September. While Congress has been in its summer recess, immigration reform supporters have been trying to put pressure on lawmakers to favor a path to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Hundreds of immigration reform supporters have been converging on Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Californian district in a bid to try to get him to change his position in regards to the issue. They want the House of Representatives to vote on a comprehensive package for immigration reform that enables the 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States to be able to eventually gain citizenship.
Organizer Dolores Huerta firmly believes that this is the right thing for everyone. “Every immigrant group that has come to the United States has been able to get citizenship, from the Founding Fathers, who were the first immigrants to come here, to the most recent ones who are here,” Huerta says. McCarthy was conveniently out of his office when the protestors arrived.
Frank Sharry, who is coordinating the pro-reform lobbying effort from Washington, disagrees with those who say that such tactics are the wrong approach. “Politics is about pressure,” he notes, adding that it is a broad coalition who are putting the pressure on lawmakers. “It is about organizing, it is about mobilizing. It is about getting your voice heard.”