Karen Bass speaks up for comprehensive immigration reform.


Congresswoman Karen Bass talking about immigration reform.

On Saturday July 27, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) hosted a forum about comprehensive immigration reform at the California Science Center. She discussed the need to fix our broken immigration system, and the need of a pathway to citizenship to create an equal playing field for all people.

Bass, with the help of organizations like Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), broke down the analysis of immigration reform, pointing out the good and bad of the current Senate bill, and how it will stimulate the economy if it were to become law.

There were people at the forum who oppose the bill, saying  the jobs should be for American citizens and not the undocumented. Bass responded to their concerns with the example of an Alabama law that grants police permission to ask for documentation at traffic stops and for school officials to verify students’ and their parents’ legal statues. Many undocumented immigrants fled the state after the bill was enacted.   Bass said that left many employers, especially farmers, without enough workers, so prisoners were brought in to fill the gap.  She calls prisoner labor as close as slavery gets.


Xiomara Corpeno, (CHIRLA) organizer, talked about the need of a pathway to citizenship to prevent from making second class citizens.

Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) came out to support Bass. She spoke about her own family’s experience and how her mother filed a family petition to bring family members still in China to the United States.  Now they are all successful and contributing to the country, said Chu.  The Senate bill would eliminate the family petition, but Chu says she is determined to keep it because it keeps families together.

Then there were testimonies by members of the community.

“My family has contributed immensely to this country and we can contribute more. It is wrong to separate me from my sister who has always been my role model. It is wrong to separate me from my brother who has been my motivation. It is wrong to separate me from my mother and father who are the soul and core of my family. It is wrong to continue separating families when hundreds of fathers and mothers are deported daily. Immigration reform is not about politics but rather a human rights issue,” said Diana Ramos, who is undocumented.

Bass ended the forum by answering questions that the community had. Constituents asked about health care for aspiring citizens, who would benefit from immigration reform. Former Congresswoman Diane Watson congratulated Bass for her forum, and for listening to the concerns of her constituents. Bass had lawyers at the end ready to help the community.

Speak Your Mind