It was a perfectly warm and inspiring day on April 10. On front of the steps of the U.S. Capitol, I witnessed the gathering of the young and seasoned from all walks of life, raising American flags and calling on our congressional leadership to finally deliver a solution to a mandate that the Latino vote demanded months prior and the American people now have adopted.
The movement for commonsense immigration reform has been long, fretted with challenging moments and close calls. Many of us veteran advocates have been a part of a struggle that began with our immigrant communities, primarily Latino, coming together bravely in the face of demeaning rhetoric and piecemeal legislation.
But today it is very different.
The tens of thousands of people before our Capitol and the scores of activists in more than 50 cities on April 10 solidified what national polls have been determining: the growing consensus of Americans want real and fair immigration legislation with a roadmap to citizenship for the millions of aspiring citizens living in our country. From communities of diverse ethnicities and environmental groups to Evangelical leaders and small businesses, the usual to the unusual suspects are standing together unlike any other time in our history.
The beauty of this movement is that it has inspired a new generation of thoughtful, persistent and fearless leaders who don't look to just one individual to guide them to a promise land, but who use a united voice to transform America.
Each DREAMer, each aspiring citizen who moved for a better tomorrow, every immigrant within us, the urban and rural worker in plight, and the fervent believers are carrying the message to our country's legislators: this new America demands a real fix to our fragmented immigration system.
It's this consensus that has the Republican Party looking deep within its lyrical soul and shaping the language in mediums throughout; for, even the AP Stylebook and the New York Times finally decided to drop the i-word. Meanwhile, new national polls, such as the recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling, continue to highlight how American voters and other sectors like small businesses are in favor of immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
The drumbeat for a better and new immigration system is getting louder every day. And as I have learned over the years, we can't stop knocking on the doors of Congress or ushering more of America into the fore of our undertaking. It's on all of us, you and I and the rest of the super majority, to make sure our country is strengthening the very value we always protect -- all people have rights regardless of where they are from. Only through a just, commonsense immigration reform can we live up to our national beliefs.
As the Senate Bipartisan group gets closer to introducing a bill, it becomes ever more important to step up and drive our message so that we have legislation that doesn't create hurdles for the millions of immigrants who are committed to contributing to our economy and the cultural fabric of America. Our activism must continue via calls to members of Congress, demonstrations, civic engagement and more.
April 10 was only one remarkable chapter in our history. There's more to be written, and as authors we must continue to ignite our pages until the last page has President Obama's signature on an immigration reform bill worthy of America's ethos.
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