San Diego Leaders Rally To Keep Immigration Reform Hopes Alive
Monday, September 9, 2013
Aired 9/9/13 on KPBS News.
San Diego business, labor and faith leaders rally to try and keep immigration reform on the legislative agenda.
With Congress back to work, immigration reform advocates are ramping up their efforts to get a bill passed before the end of the year. But debate over the federal deficit and Syria are threatening to push immigration reform to the bottom of the legislative agenda.
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Pro-immigration reform groups held a rally Monday in downtown San Diego. Mayoral candidate and Qualcomm executive Nathan Fletcher addressed the crowd in his role as chairman of San Diegans United for Commonsense Immigration Reform.
The group includes business interests, labor, law enforcement and agriculture. It came together earlier this year to agree on a set of principles for reforming the nation’s immigration system, including a pathway to citizenship for people in the country illegally.
“If we can do it here in San Diego, we know our leaders in Washington can do it,” Fletcher said.
“So, we stand here united this day as one community, calling for one solution that treats people with respect and dignity. That allows our economy to grow, that allows our communities to be safe and addresses this problem once and for all,” he said.
Councilman David Alvarez, who is also running for mayor, was at the rally. Alvarez said he and other local leaders wouldn’t let Congress get out of addressing immigration.
Pro-immigration reform groups are planning an intense lobbying campaign for the coming months to try to convince the House of Representatives to take up the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in June.
Some observers think it’s increasingly likely that the House will put the issue aside for the foreseeable future.