Marching for Immigration Reform
By Lucy Vazquez, PJALS intern
The streets of Downtown Spokane echoed with a powerful “Sí Se Puede” (yes we can) on May 1st as approximately 150 Mechistas, PJALS folks, students, and other community members marched on the streets in support of a just and humane Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11.2 million undocumented people currently living in the United States.
When MEChA de EWU decided to organize and plan this march, many people doubted our ability to pull this off but rather then letting that hinder us, it empowered us to push forward.
My goal, as the lead organizer, was to simply create awareness and bring attention to a population that is often left in the shadows and marginalized from our society. I wanted to bring visibility to the Spokane community about this national movement: the time is now to push for immigration reform, to keep families together, and ensure equal treatment!
As we started to march, I was so fearful of taking the bull horn and leading the chants, but as I looked back and saw how many people were actually behind me, something inside me sparked and the adrenaline kicked in. I honestly have no idea where all the energy came from, but as I glanced back and saw the people chanting it brought tears to my eyes, it was such an amazing feeling. I was very touched by all the support I received on this event. This was definitely my biggest accomplishment as an intern with PJALS!
Passing comprehensive immigration reform has always been important to me and now our country is one step closer in doing so. On May 21, 2013, in a bipartisan vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to send S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, onto the full Senate. The House of Representatives is set to introduce their proposal of the bill in mid to late June. So the battle is not over. This year, I have discovered my true passion, helping and using my voice for the undocumented population in order to WIN Immigration Reform.