Immigration reform advocates are planning to rally in Southampton tomorrow, Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m. at the Lola Prentiss Park, across the street from Waldbaums on Windmill Lane, in an effort to push the U.S. House of Representatives to take up the reform bill.
Across the country and Long Island, reform advocates have spent the past few weeks staging hunger strikes, known as a “Fast for Families,” in an effort to push House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on the reform bill.
The Senate passed the immigration reform bill, which allows a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, expedites work permits for illegal immigrants who were brought to this country as children and expands the eVerify employment eligibility screening program, in a 68-32 vote in June.
Anita Halasz, Executive Director of L.I. Jobs with Justice, and attorney Ana Martinez, a member of the Brentwood School Board and community organizer, will be the guest speakers at the event, which is organized by East End Immigrant Advocates, Neighbors in Support of Immigrants, Centro Corazón de Maria and the Hispanic Apostolate of the South Fork.
Mr. Boehner, who declared two weeks ago that the reform bill is “absolutely not dead,” this week hired experienced immigration policy aide Rebecca Tallent to advise him on the bill.
Congressman Tim Bishop, who represents the East End and hails from Southampton, has been a consistent supporter of immigration reform, and is expected to vote for the bill if the House allows the vote.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is critical for our security and our economy, and it is also the right thing to do to bring millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows so they can pay taxes, work legally, and fully contribute to our society without having to live in fear,” he said on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in August.