Shreveport group lobbies for immigration reform in Washington D.C.
Louisianans lobby for immigration reform in Washington D.C.
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -
The White House and Congress agree, the United States immigration system is broken, but how to fix it, is where the disagreement begins. In Shreveport-Bossier, many local Latinos are pushing for the immigration reform to pass.
In fact a group of Louisianans, some from the Ark-La-Tex, just spent days in Washington D.C. encouraging local lawmakers to turn the reform bill into law.
Latinos are the fastest growing immigration population in Shreveport-Bossier, according to U.S. census data, but because of the unknown number of illegal immigrants, Director of Shreveport's Catholic Hispanic Ministry, Rosalba Quiroz says the census numbers don't accurately reflect how many Hispanic immigrants call the sister cities home.
"The people who decide to bring their families, live in the shadows, which means they don't have a name really," said Quiroz, but that could soon change because for the first time in nearly three decades, the full senate is tackling immigration reform.
The legislation would create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million believed to be in the U.S. illegally, but only after border security improvements are made. As part of the catholic legal immigration group, Quiroz and several other Louisianans went to Washington D.C. to lobby for the reform of what they call "broken immigration laws".
"I'm an American by naturalization, I had the privilege of being here legally, going through the documentation. People need that opportunity, so they can be the best they can be." said Quiroz, who met with Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu and an assistant from Republican Senator David Vitter's office. Landrieu vowed to help push the reform through. Vitter's assistant relayed the message he is for enforcement not legalization.
At the end of the day, Quiroz hopes her efforts were worthwhile. "The church does what we can, but we'll see if we made a difference when this passes or doesn't."
The president is pushing congress to get the legislation on his desk by the end of the summer.