Thousands Turn Out for DC Immigration Rally
Monday, March 22, 2010
In preparation for another big congressional fight, thousands of New Yorkers travelled to a rally advocating for immigration reform in Washington. They boarded more than two hundred buses early yesterday morning to demand elected officials pass legislation this year.
Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, addressed the crowd. "We're challenging the Congress that they must gather the votes," Hong told WNYC Radio. "The legislative work starts now. They have to get the support that we need."
Hong said the President needs to live up to his campaign promises about immigration reform.
Despite most eyes in the nation's capital being focused on the healthcare debate, some New York members of Congress appeared at the immigration reform rally, including Nydia Velazquez and Jose Serrano.
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released an outline of a bipartisan immigration system overhaul bill last week. It calls for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to pass background checks, be proficient in English, and pay back taxes and other fines in order to gain legal residency.