Across the nation, proponents of immigration reform are organizing demonstrations for the coming weekend. Ranging from marches to prayer vigils, the different events that take place on Saturday in more than 150 cities are purposed to remind Americans that immigration reform is still needed, even during the government shutdown. Known as “National Day for Dignity and Respect”, organizers want to begin escalating immigration reform on Saturday and throughout the weekend so that Congress passes the proposed bill by the end of this year.
Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, an activist who is based out of Tampa, FL, noted that the weekend is about showing Congress that the 11 million undocumented are more than just a number (ABC News). He and other advocates want isolated individuals to see the tens of thousands of people that are participating in the events and join them. Mobilization is driven by the Alliance for Citizenship, which includes theYWCA, the ACLU, the AFL-CIO, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Much to supporters’ dismay, the budget standoff of late has severely decreased attention on the immigration issues. The hope is that the rallies will attract the attention of the government and increase visibilities for smaller immigrant communities. Many organizers believe that there is enough support from both parties to pass a bill offering a path to citizenship.