Women and immigration advocates vow to continue fighting to get immigration reform passed this year
McCarthy met with 13-women delegation locked inside his office at 11
p.m. but refused to sign pledge to push for a House vote on
immigration reform in 2013
CA − On Wednesday, a women-led delegation staged a sit-in at House
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield, chanting, singing
and refusing to leave until McCarthy signed a pledge to advance
comprehensive immigration reform in the House. Simultaneously, more than
a hundred people, including immigration reform advocates, farm workers
and new immigrants, rallied outside the congressman's office and held
vigils in support of the women.
women and their families had come from California's Central Valley, Los
Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to urge Congressman McCarthy,
who is the third most powerful lawmaker in the Republican-controlled
House of Representatives, to take immediate action to bring a
comprehensive immigration reform bill to a House vote.
McCarthy's office closed for the day at 5 p.m., a group of 13 women
refused to leave. For hours, police denied the women access to food,
water and medication. Despite this, the women endured for an additional
six hours until finally, they succeeded in luring the House Majority
Whip out of his home at 11 p.m.
and engaged him in conversation about his lack of leadership in
advancing immigration reform. The sit-in concluded with his reassurance
to the women that he is “serious about solving the problem” but refused
to sign pledge to push for a House vote on immigration reform.
Farm Workers leader Lupe Larios, who was among the women locked inside
the congressman's office, said McCarthy promised to tackle immigration
reform during this congressional session, which ends in 2014, but
discarded the possibility of passing immigration reform in the House by
the end of the year.
appreciate Congressman McCarthy taking time to come meet with us, but
he said that with only 13 days remaining in the 2013 congressional
session, it is not realistic to address immigration reform. As one of
his constituents and voter, we don't want to hear more excuses as to why
it can't be done this year," Larios said.
has been debated for 13 years in Congress, two thirds of the U.S.
Senate passed bipartisan legislation. When will the House vote on
legislation? Earlier this year Republican House leaders have suggested
votes in July, then September, then October, and now we are being told
"later". The problem with the "later" is that it never comes," she said. MORE: For full news release click here