Last Thursday, the Senate voted to pass the bill 68-32, and focus shifted to the House of Representatives as they work on their version of the bill. It has been a long journey since the bill was dropped on the Senate floor, and there are lots of rallies, marching and pro-immigration activities have been done during the journey. The day before the Senate’s final vote on the bill, another impressive march took place at the Capitol.
It was extremely hot and humid last Wednesday, and most people on the street just wanted to get into air conditioned rooms as soon as possible. But 300 immigrant families marched the opposite way – to the open air where they could be heard by all at the Capitol, urging the Senate and the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
After an hour, people started marching towards the House building and the Republican National Committee (RNC) building. The sky was getting cloudy and dark soon after we started the march, but no one had any hesitation. We got support from faith allies including leaders from Nuns on the Bus and the Church World Service, who joined us for the rally.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, NO MORE INJUSTICE!” people chanted in front of the RNC building. Faith leaders gave several powerful and impressive speeches and sprinkled holy water on the steps of the RNC. Soon after, it started to rain, but the rain didn’t stop the marchers.
One of the things that impressed me the most was that not only strong and young people attended the rally, but that even in the extreme heat and the rain, little children and elderly people who could barely speak English were also marching and shouting along with the crowd to urge the Senate and the House to pass the immigration reform bill.
Even though the bill has now passed in the Senate, there are still dangerous roadblocks ahead that could obstruct the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States from gaining a pathway to citizenship. We know that we have a long road ahead of us in the House before a just, comprehensive, humane immigration reform bill is signed into law, but we plan to keep up the fight until it happens.