Backers of immigration reform pressure Calif. lawmakers | News
LOS ANGLELES, CA - In Los Angeles, supporters of immigration reform rallied in front of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office to keep the pressure up.
Up at the State Capitol, a similar demonstration.
The message: "Keep Families Together" is the latest push to get Congress to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, with young faces front and center.
The Magallanes family of San Jose are worried dad Jose will be deported. His wife and three kids are American-born, but with a previous deportation on his record, citizenship is unattainable even through marriage.
"My husband is undocumented," said wife Janet Alvarez Magallanes "For me and my kids, we'll be very devastated if he gets taken away."
Some political watchers believe this may finally be the year immigration reform will happen. Republicans suffered huge losses during the November election partly because they alienated so many Latinos with harsh rhetoric on immigration.
"Look, there's two ways to look at a loss," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. "You can deny it or you can learn from it. I think Republicans are beginning to learn from it."
At last weekend's state GOP convention, Republicans elected a new leader charged with re-branding the party. Already, one former Minuteman has backed off his hard stand against illegal immigrants and insists instead on talking about Republican principals of free markets and less government.
"Go to the community and listen and then have a conversation, instead of making assumptions that if you pander on one issue that somehow you're going to wind up with votes," said Assem. Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks.
Participants at both the Los Angeles and Sacramento rallies boarded busses hoping the new Republican effort opens the door to votes on immigration reform. Final stop: Bakersfield on Wednesday to rally at McCarthy's office.
"We need immigrant reform for our family to stay together," urged Janet Andrea Magallanes, Jose Magallanes' daughter.