The path to citizenship for any immigrant in the Los Angeles area can be a difficult one. There are many hurdles along the way. At times the dream of becoming a United States citizen may seem out of one’s grasp, but new efforts to completely overhaul the immigration system may make those dreams a reality.
Many people feel like now is the optimal time to tackle immigration reform since there will not be another presidential election for four years or a congressional election for two years.
In what is being referred to as grassroots lobbying, various groups are planning activities to encourage immigration reform. These groups include farm workers, chambers of commerce and even churches. The goal of these groups is to pressure members of Congress to work together and create legislation that will give immigrants a way to eventually become citizens.
Participants will pray, hold speeches, attend rallies, read scriptures and some groups will be holding news conferences as the campaign kicks off. Some farm workers even plan to travel to Washington D.C. in an effort to sway Congress. Politicians have begun speaking out more openly about overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.
While the grassroots efforts are focused on one state at the moment, organizers of these groups expect it to expand to other states.
When concerned citizens and immigrants stand together and make their voices heard, change can take place. One of the goals of some members of Congress is to make it possible for illegal residents to obtain work permits if they have resided in the United States for a certain period of time. This could enable them to start working toward the status of legal permanent resident and ultimately citizenship.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Floridians join big push for immigration overhaul,” William E. Gibson, Jan. 13, 2013