Today, La Opinión - the largest Spanish language newspaper in the U.S. - reported on a possible framework for moving forward comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the Senate. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has worked for more than a year with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to create a bipartisan immigration reform bill. Advocates and immigrant communities have been waiting for many years for the government to finally fix the broken immigration system, to an immigration system that works and reflects the interests and the values of the American people.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Americans are mobilizing across the country to push for immigration reform.
Today, a caravan of faith leaders, day laborers and others is leaving from Phoenix, Arizona. Greeted by crowds of up to a 1,000 in places like Houston and New Orleans, this caravan will grow to dozens of vehicles and hundreds of people to arrive in DC on March 21st.
In Michigan, Ohio, California, Wisconsin and states across the country, communities are raising money and organizing buses to bring African American workers, small business owners, immigrant families and others to Washington DC on March 21st.
These communities on the move will meet in Washington DC to joins tens of thousands of Americans to March FOR America on Sunday, March 21, 2010, and remind our elected leaders that Change Takes Courage.
Americans pouring out of buses and metro stops on that Sunday afternoon will be greeted by the sight of a stage - whose backdrop is the U.S. Capitol - draped in American flags and banners reading, "March FOR America, Change Takes Courage."
At 1:00 PM an interfaith service of 5,000 religious leaders begins. Cardinals, Bishops, Pastors, Rabbis, Imams, and others highlight the moral urgency of immigration reform, calling for the best of America to come together and welcome the stranger.
With an honor guard and pledge of allegiance, the March FOR America program kicks off at 2:00 PM. Tens of thousands of American flags flutter in the wind, held high by the audience, flanked by signs reading "We Work FOR America," "Change Takes Faith" and "Reform Immigration FOR America."
As the crowd quiets, the event opens with an invocation. Americans pause to remember the struggle of all workers, of all families, of all people coming together to make our nation great.
Music fills the air as the energy picks up. The opening speaker begins:
Today we are at a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. We are faced with a choice. We can do nothing, and watch as new American families are torn apart by the broken immigration system; watch as profiteers continue to take advantage of people desperate for work; and watch as all American families struggle to find good jobs and make ends meet. Or we can stand up, and stand together for our families and our communities.
Every day that Washington fails to address our broken immigration system and broken economy, Americans become more angry and frustrated with their leaders. Every day that we put off reforming the immigration system more families are torn apart, workers endure more abuse, our national deficit grows as billions in tax revenue are lost, and the rule of law is undermined. Every day that Congress and the President fail to address the growing economic distress in American communities is another day in which American families struggle unnecessarily.
Leadership from churches, labor unions, business and the immigrant community speak to the inspiration of America and the urgency of the moment: Workers are being exploited, families are being separated, businesses are being undermined.
The solution is to Reform Immigration FOR America.
Follow Ali Noorani on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ImmPolitic