Sunday, June 23, 2024

March on Washington Anniversary Increases Efforts for Immigration Reform

A coalition of civil rights group have pledged to join in the spirit of activism and advocacy to push for immigration reform just as the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

“We will be marching so everyone knows that true justice involves enacting comprehensive immigration reform,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguia. “This is an opportunity for us in the Latino community to show that Dr. King’s words resonated not just with one community but with an entire nation.”

Latino leaders made a call for immigration reform on Saturday to not only press for action, but also reflect on how much Latino civil rights have been affected since the 1963 march. The 50th anniversary comes as Congress deliberates the immigration reform legislation, with a pathway to citizenship being one of the main points of disagreement. Murguia says that although Dr. King’s words were aimed at the African-American community, he played a key role and was a beloved icon for Latinos as well.

Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, one of immigration reform’s biggest supporters in Congress, says he wouldn’t have his seat in Congress without the struggles of civil rights activists at the March on Washington 50 years ago this week. For Rep. Gutierrez, Dr. King’s vision outlined a “moral future” for racial harmony – a goal he believes has yet to be reached.

“I am in office because a quarter of a million people marched down Washington in 1963,” said Gutierrez. “Without the march and the civil rights movement, there would be no Voting Rights Act, there would be no majority Latino district carved out in Chicago.”

At this moment, House members are introducing a series of bills that tackle individual provisions of reform separately after rejecting taking up the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in July.

NBC Latino



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