It is no surprise that immigrant families in Reading are eagerly waiting for some good news from Congress. For some of them, those who lack the legal permission to remain or work in the country, the promise of a pathway to naturalization and citizenship is dangling just out of their reach, but if the House comes up with a similar immigration bill to the one that was passed by the Senate earlier this year, these Pennsylvania families may finally have a way to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
In an effort to bring attention to the importance of immigration reform, however, a group of immigrant families and young immigrants held an unofficial citizenship ceremony near the Cpaitol. It was just part of their effort to remind members of the House to not forget them when they dicuss immigration reform.
According to some immigration advocates, most of these immigrant families, whether they possess or lack the necessary permissions to remain in the country, came here for the same reasons. They came to Pennsylvania and other parts of the United States to try to build better lives for their families, but those at risk of deportation have had vastly different experiences with the immigration system.
It is that experience that immigrant advocates participating in the mock naturalization and citizenship ceremony went to remind House members of earlier in the week. Many of them visited Republican representatives to share the stories of how their family members have been personally impacted by restrictive immigration laws.
Source: ABC News, “DREAMers Take Family-First Immigration Message to Washington,” Ted Hesson, July 8, 2013