Immigration reform advocates head to Washington

September 13, 2010 1:52:50 PM PDT
Bay Area advocates for federal immigration reform will send a delegation to the nation's capital this week to call for legislation to be introduced this year.

"We want relief, reform and respect for our families," was the rallying cry this morning from Eric Quezada, of the San Francisco Bay Area Coalition for Immigration Reform.

Quezada and others gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. A delegation of political, community and religious leaders from the city will arrive in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to try to convince congressional leaders to take up the issue. They are expected join about 500 other leaders from throughout the country.

"We will be demanding that Congress move on this," Quezada said. He said about 1,100 people are deported from the U.S. each day.

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos will be a part of the delegation.

Campos has been involved in immigration reform at a local level, pushing to protect San Francisco's sanctuary policy and to exempt San Francisco from a new federal program that shares the fingerprints of arrestees with immigration authorities.

Campos said these local "disagreements" on immigration policy "will continue unless something happens in Washington, D.C."

"San Francisco has been hurt by the failure of the federal government to act," he said.

Campos said he expects to meet with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and also hopes to have an audience with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

"I think it's an uphill battle," Campos conceded about efforts to have Congress take up the issue this year, but he said it is important to try.


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