In areas across the country, a lot of people are looking forward to the month of March. Not because it heralds the arrival of Spring (March 20, 2010) but because they’ve been told that is when Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) will be introduced in Congress.
The issue is mobilizing not just Latinos but like-minded sympathizers from the business arena, different religious ministries, labor unions, the American Jewish Committee, farmers, student groups, neighborhood organizations…and the list keeps growing.
Marches, rallies and conferences have been held or being planned in preparation for what will come or is hoped will come. Every day, my inbox is filled with an announcement of another event meant to push Congress to address immigration reform:
Past call-to-action marches mobilized people to take a stand on immigration reform.
Texas Convention on Immigration Reform: The Texas Convention will be a historic moment when hundreds of Texas immigrant families, civil rights advocates, students, business representatives, unions, and local and federal elected officials will come together in the Capital of the State (Austin) to recognized the contributions of immigrants to the well-being and greatness of the state of Texas and the nation.
All participants and represented sectors at the convention will make an unequivocal call to reform our obsolete immigration system and to establish a comprehensive policy that: 1) will bring out of the shadows millions of immigrant workers; 2) integrates efficiently immigrant families to the economic, social, cultural and political fabric of our society; 3) develops and implements accountable, humane and responsible border and interior enforcement policies; 4) provides long-term solutions for immigration flows based on the needs of our economy, the dignity and rights of immigrant workers and the realities of the global migration process.
NY Road Trip for Our Future: Immigration Reform Now: We are a group of students, volunteers, faith leaders, organizers, mothers, brothers and immigrants united to push for immigration reform in 2010.
We know that if we want reform this year we must take our demands directly to our Members of Congress- so we are going on the road during Feb 15-19 Congressional Recess to tell them we want comprehensive immigration reform NOW!
“Scores march in cold from Jersey City to Elizabeth to underline interfaith call for immigration reforms“: A group of about 60 people gathered at Liberty State Park yesterday morning (February 17, 2010) in front of the footbridge to Ellis Island to rally for immigration reform.
Part of a daylong event billed as “Ellis Island is Closed,” a press conference and interfaith prayer service were held before most participants – immigrant rights activists and people affected by immigration policy and detention practices – began a 10-mile trek from Jersey City to the Elizabeth Detention Center.
1,500-Mile March to Washington: The trio has embarked on a four-month, 1,500-mile campaign, walking from Miami to Washington, D.C., to advocate for immigration reform legislation that would give them a path to citizenship.
There is no denying there exists unrest, impatience and expectations for CIR to be addressed in Congress next month. As it becomes clearer to other sectors of our economy just how much U.S. society is dependent on immigrant labor, undocumented or otherwise, there will be an even bigger push that something be done — and it just may come from the average voter who doesn’t really know anything about the need for CIR now but will feel the impact of the current immigration policies soon enough when it comes to food prices at the grocery store, dairy products, home services, etc.
If anyone thinks that these latest spurts of action across the country are merely isolated events with no real teeth, then they haven’t heard what’s coming March 21.
On March 21, 2010, early projections predict that 100,000 people, from all over the United States, will descend on Washington, DC to march for immigration reform.
Lead by The Reform Immigration FOR America campaign, the march has the potential to rival any of the major city marches held in 2006 across the country.
The amount of people who show up will be determined by two things: 1. If Sen. Charles Schumer introduces his bill in the Senate and 2. How strong the GOP pushes back against the bill.
If Sen. Schumer introduces the bill and the GOP play it smart by exhibiting a political will to work on it, then there’s no reason to assume that the march will be massive or boisterous. No one would want to rock the delicate balance of the issue.
However, if no bill is introduced or the GOP resort to old strategies of blocking any kind of meaningful bipartisanship collaboration on the bill then it’s easy to see how both scenarios will exacerbate people’s patience and trust to the point that a trip to Washington will be seen as a necessity to move the issue forward.
When that happens, every politician will have a hard time then ignoring the issue, especially if the latest group to join the fight for immigration reform, the Raging Grannies, decide to sing their displeasure: