Morning came over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Then, many people risked being arrested by doing something. They were mothers, students, and their allies.
The protesters left their cars before 7 a.m., carrying banners, and chanting. They are asking for Congress to give citizenship to undocumented immigrants.
There was a protest on the bridge. This resulted in an accident. The traffic was slow for about an hour.
Luis Angel Reyes Savalza is an undocumented immigrant who said, “We are escalating our actions. People without documentation are risking arrest and deportation to send the message that we can’t wait any longer.”
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Despite the fact that some of them might have been arrested, the few dozen who stopped morning bridge commuters were in high spirits.
Thursday morning, some protesters were handed citations, but it did not appear that the civil disobedience on the bridge resulted in any arrests.
The immigrant community has had to endure a lot of fear from Democrats and Republicans over the last 20 years. They have been separated from their families, put in detention centers that are not safe, and even been caged at the border.
“Where is @VP ? I thought she was the daughter on immigrants?” Speakers decry lack of any immigration reform as they keep #GoldenGateBridge at a standstill. pic.twitter.com/bdBP2eplFn
— Deepa Fernandes (@deepafern) September 30, 2021
It was not easy to cross the bridge after traffic became bad. But then it got better before 8 a.m.
On Tuesday there was a protest. People wanted to change the government, and they wanted it to be more fair. The people who organized the protest also wanted climate justice. There were also racial justice issues that they talked about.
“We were branded ‘essential workers’ while the Trump and Biden presidencies denied undocumented families access to economic assistance,” Reyes Savalza said.
The people blocked the cars. They blocked them this morning. It happened because of a vote in Congress on the budget reconciliation bill. The people wanted to make sure that Democrats did not override the Senate parliamentarian who excluded immigration provisions from the $3.5 trillion bill.
The activists’ frustration with Washington has an obvious antecedent. Immigration reform is something that people in government always try to do, but sometimes they fail.
Protesters have blocked traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge to demand Congress grant a pathway to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented people @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/gDzGQaKBcU
— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) September 30, 2021
Attempts to fix immigration have happened in the past many times. A recent one was in 2013 when the Senate passed what became known as the “Gang of Eight” immigration compromise. The huge bill that would make millions of undocumented immigrants legal and change the immigration system got more than two-thirds of the Senate’s support.
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But it died in the House of Representatives. Republicans were worried about people not liking them for giving “amnesty” to undocumented immigrants. The problem was made worse by Donald Trump, who said he would stop all the immigration.
Even a popular idea like providing a path to citizenship for “Dreamers” has been difficult to do. They are young people who came here as children and are now undocumented immigrants. But it can be hard because other politicians try to get in the way.
Democrats have been in control of Washington, but they haven’t been focusing on immigration reform. They should do that now.
So far President Joe Biden has rested his hopes on a procedural tactic that would allow Democrats to attach immigration legalization to a budget bill. The president wants this so that it can bypass the 60 vote requirement in order for legislation to advance. It is very unlikely that that plan will work. The Senate’s arbiter of procedural rules has ruled twice, most recently on Wednesday, that Democrats’ proposals do not meet the requirements to qualify for the maneuver called reconciliation.
Some people on the left have said that Biden and Senate Democrats should just do what they want. They say they should ignore the parliamentarian and just pass it anyway, or get rid of the 60-vote requirement for a bill. But Biden is a former senator, so he knows how it is in Congress.
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