Reno Vigil Underscores Immigration Reform Push
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
RENO, Nev. - It's a big week for immigration reform, and Nevadans are holding a candlelight vigil in Reno tonight to stress the importance of the issue. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks in California on Thursday and immigrants' rights advocates are busing in from other states to put the pressure on there there. Today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) unveils his plan for comprehensive immigration reform.
At the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, community organizer Mario DelaRosa says there are high hopes that Gutierrez will give reform some new momentum.
"We think he's going talk about putting in fees, making people learn the English language, be good citizens - don't have any criminal record, and be good people in general. We are hoping for a good solution to this dysfunctional immigration system."
In a state like Nevada, where immigrants make up nearly 20 percent of the population and 14 percent of the voters, DelaRosa says, a fair system for earning citizenship is also a financial issue.
"If they work, they pay taxes. When they consume things, they are paying taxes. Some groups don't want to recognize this, and they are saying that they are a charge for the community, for society."
The focus of tonight's event is on stopping immigration enforcement raids. Proponents of the raids say they help catch criminals, but DelaRosa says that just as often, people who have done nothing wrong are detained and family members are separated.
The vigil starts at 6 p.m. at the Washoe County Courthouse in Reno.
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