Day of Action: Thousands protest in Hollywood for Immigration Reform

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

October 7, 2013

HOLLYWOOD – A federal government shutdown did not stop thousands from making a major push for immigration reform over the weekend.

About 2,000 clogged the streets of Hollywood over the weekend, calling on congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform bill by the end of this year. 

“Immigration reform, as what we have experienced now is what we need. That’s the clamor of the people,” Lolit Andrada Lledo, associate director of Pilipino Workers Center, said.

“I hope so, crossing my fingers it’ll pass this year I hope so but the chances are very slim but I hope and pray it’ll pass,” Dondi Monzon of Pilipino Workers Center said. 

Immigrant rights advocates said it is “now or never” for the House of Representatives to pass the reform bill. 

After the US Senate passed the measure earlier this year, the overhaul has stalled as the lower house has said it prefers to tackle immigration through a series of smaller bills. 

Now with the shutdown, there is some concern immigration reform will move even slower. 

“It just shows the conflict within Congress… but we’re hoping that the needs of the community and how good it is for the economy will move the
Republicans,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza, executive director of the Pilipino Workers Center.

Over 40 cities nationwide took action last Saturday (October 5). Activists in California say at least the Golden State has made recent progress with laws dealing with immigrants living illegally in California. 

These include the Trust Act which would prevent federal agents from using local police to act as immigration officers; the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights which gives work protection to domestic workers; and a law allowing driving permits for the undocumented, were all signed into law in recent weeks. 

“We’ve always been precedent setting, so hopefully it’s something that will catch across the nation,” Versoza said. 

Despite the calls for immigration reform that can help legalize the undocumented, others greeted the marchers with their own opinion, against the legalization of the undocumented during what police described as a peaceful protest.

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  • Jorge Buesa
    9 October 2013 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Right now it’s a number game ? If your number comes up to be deported before the new immigration reform comes up before the end of the year maybe ? Your gone to where you came from ? And alot of people is going to be deported by the end of the year. Because the lawmakers has alot other bills to work on ?