WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Fight For Immigration Reform Follows Virginia Republicans To District Offices

Play associated audio
Tomas Martinez, of Atlanta, Ga., chants during a rally in front of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2013, calling for of immigration reform.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Tomas Martinez, of Atlanta, Ga., chants during a rally in front of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2013, calling for of immigration reform.

Congress is gone for the month of August, so local immigration advocates are planning to take their fight for reform to Republican district offices in Virginia.

During the last week Congress was in session, immigration groups stormed Capitol Hill, waving signs, threatening Republicans at the polls and holding sit ins, with dozens of protesters submitting to arrests. Much of their anger is directed at two Virginia Republicans: Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, and Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

"They're going to have a rude awakening because everywhere they go on vacation in their district offices, we're going to be there," says Jaime Contreras, vice president of a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union. "You know we're here to say have a nice vacation and when they go to the district we're also going to have protests at their district offices. But also when they come back we're going to be here also to remind them, 'Hope you're rested. Now get to work.'" 

Many Republicans say they aren't worried about the protests. Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith says the House is now having a substantive debate that can't be fit into a chant or banner. "Oh, it's a policy debate. I don't think the protests really do a whole lot to promote what they're trying to promote. In fact they may make it more difficult in some districts," he says.

Congress only has nine legislative days in August and it's most pressing concern is preventing a government shutdown and trying to rearrange sequestration, which means the window to deal with immigration may be quickly shrinking.


'We All Have To Do Something': Nina Jacobson On Diversifying Hollywood

No one knows the struggles and successes of women in Hollywood better than Nina Jacobson, the producer of the Hunger Games movies. NPR catches up with one of the most powerful women in the business.

Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.