Politicians and activists in favor of immigration reform haven’t taken a break from pushing for legislation that would bring 11 million people out of the shadows.
In one of its latest efforts, Promise Arizona hosted a series of prayer vigils and faith-based forums throughout the state about the legislative process and what’s at stake.
The community forums are part of 40 days of actions and prayer being held nationally during the congressional summer recess and organized by hundreds of grass-roots organizations across the country.
On Monday, Promise Arizona hosted a community forum at St. John’s Catholic Church, 602 W. Ajo Way, where U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva updated parishioners after Mass about what’s happening in Washington.
“The Senate took action, they created a path to legalize people who are in the country without status and a process to reunite families,” the Tucson Democrat said in Spanish. But the House is still trying to figure out what the process is going to look like.
He said he is still hopeful that something will get passed, but there’s a lot of work to do.
“I believe the majority of Americans understand that people who are here without documents are beneficial to the country,” he said. “But we are not going to accomplish it without great effort and passion.”
For Grijalva, comprehensive immigration reform needs to have a path to citizenship for those who are living in the country without status; a legal process for family reunification; the Dream Act for those who were brought to the country as children; and border security that focuses on organized crime and not people who come to work.
“The fight for immigration reform is far from over,” said Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona.
“We have to pay attention to the process,” she told attendees of the community forum in Tucson. “We are going to need the help and voice of every one of you.”