The rally today takes place as the momentum for an immigration reform bill keeps building. The latest information is that the Senate Gang of Eight could introduce legislation in the next few days, possibly the beginning of next week.
While some of the rally’s biggest organizers are Latino groups such as Casa de Maryland, the speaker lineup is composed of diverse groups, pointing to immigration as not solely a “Latino” issue. Asian-American legislators and leaders will participate and speak, and the keynote speaker will be African American civil rights leader Ben Jealous, who heads the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
“This is a valid and prudent tactic, to have other faces and voices up front,” says Antonio Gonzalez, of the William C. Velazquez Institute. “The truth is while the main beneficiaries of legalization might be Latinos and Asians, in a broader sense it’s really about our economy, and everyone benefits from the boost of millions of underground workers coming to the surface,” he adds.
“The majority of immigrants are good and hard-working, like it has always been,” says Machado. “There was a time when signs said ‘Irish Need Not Apply.’ So I’m here to help make a difference,” says the attorney.