Comprehensive reform of the nation’s 60-year-old immigration laws once appeared to be almost impossible, but more than 100 people gathered in downtown Las Vegas Wednesday on what they hoped would be the eve of bi-partisan deal in Congress to provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Labor and social-justice groups called a rally at the Lloyd George federal building to grow support for a May 1 march down Las Vegas Boulevard. The groups hope to show strong community support for comprehensive immigration reform, and influence Nevada’s congressional delegation.
“The Nevada May Day actions will specifically call on Congress to pass immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship, strengthens immigrant workers’ rights, and keeps families together," said Danny Thompson, executive secretary treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO.
Artie Blanco, state director of the national AFL-CIO, said the May Day event will begin with a 4:30 program at the Lloyd George building and continue with a march south on Las Vegas Boulevard to St. Louis Avenue. Some groups could keep walking farther down the Strip, Blanco said.
The coalition organizing the May Day events includes the Nevada State AFL-CIO, Culinary Union 226, Laborer's Union 872, Painters Union District 15, United Steelworkers of Nevada, Mi Familia Vota, Nevada Alliance of Retired Americans, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, DREAM Big Vegas, National Council of La Raza, Si Se Puede, Madres por la Justicia, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, NAFFAA, Yo Soy 132, Consejo Latino, El Concilio Hispano, MEChA de UNLV, Hispanics in Politics and Federacion de los Michoacanas, among others.
The rally in Las Vegas mirrored a much larger rally in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Groups working for immigration law changes believe that they will have a bi-partisan deal from the so-called “Gang of Eight” in the U.S. Senate this week, but any legislation will still have to pass the full Senate and House before going to the White House to be signed into law.