By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, members of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) will be gathering at the Birmingham office of Representative Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia on Tuesday to thank the Congressman for his support of immigrant families in 2013 and to encourage him to co-sponsor and support HR 15, a bill that would provides a path to citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans.
The ACIJ wrote, “As we move into the holiday season, our focus is on family and being together. ACIJ appreciates the support Rep. Bachus has shown for keeping families together, but immigrant families in Alabama want to know that our families will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving together year after year in our home state of Alabama. On Tuesday, local children will present Rep. Bachus with letters and drawings, as well as a colorful turkey that says: “Thank you Rep. Bachus – Our Families Trust in You.”
Yazmin Contreras said, “Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, reflect, and be with family. We know that because of our flawed immigration system, many immigrant families do not have the luxury of spending the holidays together with their loved ones. This Thanksgiving, we are thankful to Rep. Bachus for his public support of keeping families together, and we ask him to take the next step by co-sponsoring HR15 and voting for a path to citizenship.”
The ACIJ, immigrant families, and local religious leaders will be gathering at Rep. Bachus’s office on Tuesday at 10:00 AM. Local immigrant children will present Rep. Bachus with letters, drawings, and Thanksgiving turkey. Bachus’s office is at: 1900 International Park Dr. in Birmingham.
The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice is an advocate for Alabama’s immigrants. The group has opposed state immigration laws like HB56 and has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform. There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, most of whom would like legal status and a pathway to American citizenship.
President Obama announced earlier in the year that immigration reform would be one of his main legislative priorities in 2013. The ”Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill passed the U.S. Senate, but has gotten bogged down in the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives. Republican have been critical of measures in the bill which greatly increase the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country annually and question whether the Obama administration (which has a poor record of enforcing existing immigration law) can be trusted to actually implement heightened border security provisions in the Senate legislation.
Speaker Boehner has refused to appoint a conference committee with the Senate to resolve differences in the House and Senate immigration proposals; but Senator Sessions (R) from Alabma has warned that back foor negotiations are underway to pass a compromise comprehensive immigration reform bill. Sessions has led efforts to defeat the Senate immigration reform legislation.
Congressman Bachus has announced that he is not seeking re-election.