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Immigrant Activists Putting Pressure On Bilbray

Aired 10/26/12 on KPBS News.

DREAM Act supporters protested outside Congressman Brian Bilbray's office Thursday, and an immigrant rights coalition started running radio ads against him.

DREAM Act supporters, some of them undocumented, brought shoes to a protest a...
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Above: DREAM Act supporters, some of them undocumented, brought shoes to a protest at Congressman Brian Bilbray's office. Bilbray famously said law enforcement could identify illegal immigrants by the clothes they wore, "right down to the shoes."

— Immigrant rights activists are putting pressure on Congressman Brian Bilbray, who is running for re-election in the newly minted 52nd Congressional District, which covers coastal and northern parts of San Diego County.

About a dozen young adults, some of them undocumented, stood outside Bilbray’s office in Solana Beach on Thursday afternoon, demanding he support the DREAM Act, which would legalize many young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children.

As chairman of the powerful Immigration Reform Caucus, Bilbray has taken hard anti-immigrant stances. He’s in a tight re-election race against Democratic challenger Scott Peters, who has said he supports the DREAM Act.

“Bilbray took a leadership role in an anti-immigrant forum. We would like to see leaders from San Diego in favor of leading immigration reform," said Victor Ravago, a member of the DREAM Action Coalition.

Still, he said that while he welcomes Peters’ support for the DREAM Act, Ravago would like him to clarify his vague stance on other immigration issues.

Most of the young adults who showed up Thursday said they were more concerned with getting Bilbray to change his stance on immigration issues than with necessarily voting him out of office.

A Bilbray spokesman highlighted the fact that Peters has not made his stance on immigration issues very clear.

This week, however a different immigrants’ coalition, called America's Voice, started running Spanish-language radio ads in San Diego attacking Bilbray and supporting Peters.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | October 27, 2012 at 5:19 p.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

I support an amnesty program because we do have a moral responsibility for children brought to the U.S. illegally with their parents and this is, in many cases, the only home, country, and way of life they know. It's the right thing to do. I believe that.

I also believe people with hard-stance positions against illegal immigration should not be singled out as hard-liners, racist, prejudice, and unfair. At some point things have got to change, and people calling themselves immigration rights activists should call themselves what they really are, which is amnesty request activists.

There is only so much room in each country and the U.S. cannot be home to everyone. I disagree with the president when he declares America is a nation of immigrants. Our founding fathers were pioneers, and the definition between pioneer and immigrant are decidedly different, same as their psyche and reasons for forging a nation.

Third World citizens have little hope in their native countries. I have eyes and know their governments will not change. So when do put in place an immigration law that is enforced, does not offer amnesty for the wrong reasons, and sends a clear message to people that if you want to come to America you must follow the legal process?

Is this really too much to ask?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 27, 2012 at 11 p.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

Author of the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment:

"This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens..." - Sen. Jacob Howard in 1866

US should join every other developed nation on Earth and grant citizenship based on parents, not place of birth. That is sensible, will remove the incentive, and comply with the Constitution.

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