Bakersfield community leaders push for real pathway to citizenship

Groups lobbied Kevin McCarty for change

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

A bill expected to be released within the next few days is still being negotiated by lawmakers in Washington just as several people from Kern County join the march there for a comprehensive solution on immigration.

While people march for change in our nation's capital, Alejandra Resenedez shows support from home in the exact same fields where she worked to support her family.

“There are a lot of people that don't have much and can't even work because of their immigration status,” she said.

Resenedez is among the many people urging lawmakers to support a pathway to citizenship. 

“Having immigration reform will give people the right to take out a driver's license, giving them the ability to drive and head to work without the fear of immigration officers pulling them over," said Resenedez.

In addition to the gathering in Washington, more than twenty marches are taking place around California.

"Immigrants have always come to this country, looking for a better way a life for their families.  They are here unfortunately undocumented because our immigration system is broken," said Lori DeLeon of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

The Kern Coalition for Citizenship is made up of advocates pushing for reform that raises the quality of jobs for all workers, keeps families together and creates a realistic roadmap for aspiring citizens.

"Our principals are pretty clear. We want the possibility of legalization and path to citizenship for the 11 million.  We also want to preserve and advance the family values and keep them united," said Roberto De La Cruz who helped organize event.

Leaders with the group say the deal, which is being closely watched, has to be resolved in a bipartisan way.

"There's obviously not a bill yet, but once we see the bill.  We go into a second phase of this campaign,” he said.

Advocates say lawmakers finally putting this issue on the table and details soon to be released is a positive thing.

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