Washington’s failure to directly address the many problems within the US immigration system has hurt not just the immigrant community but has also been a contributing factor towards the crisis with the nation’s economy.
“The immigrant community, especially the undocumented immigrant community, is being blamed for the problems that are happening nationwide,” says union organizer Mark Terrones. “We’re trying to say to them that we are not the problem. We are actually part of the solution.”
Experts claim that immigration reform is the only way that Washington can get its house in order and prevent another crisis within the US economy. Immigrants that are given the chance to gain US citizenship can help all of those individuals who become a part of the formal economic sector and enable them to contribute to the society that in many cases they have already been a part of for many years, according to Salvador Messines, who is one of the members of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition.
Advocates have heaped criticism on Washington for its inability to reform US immigration laws, which has seen families torn apart and over 1.5 million people deported just during the time of President Barack Obama’s administration. Terrones says that they want Washington to admit the contribution made by immigrants and do something about allowing immigrants to remain in the United States. “In other words, we’re not going to let the one percent hold us back from progressing any further,” he says.