Dozens march through downtown Beaumont for immigration reform

Holding signs and yelling chants as they marched through downtown Beaumont Saturday morning were dozens of immigrants united under a common goal: immigration reform.

Among them was Luis Alvarez. Alvarez came to the U.S. from Mexico more than 30 years ago to find work and provide for his struggling family. He's owned his own business for 10 years and is a legal U.S. citizen., but he's been trying to help his sister get her citizenship for the past 15 years.
"We're still waiting, and waiting," said Alvarez. "The only thing they keep telling me is you just have to wait. And it's a problem because she lives in fear everyday that something is going to happen to her, and she always worries about her sons and daughters."
The group was part of a larger nationwide initiative called the "Day of Dignity and Respect". Close to 100 similar marches were held in cities all of the country. Supporters called for an easier path to citizenship and a stop to the separation of families through deportations.
"We want to see an immigration reform bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows, to step out and contribute to society the way they want to," said Juan Rodriguez, a co-organizer of the march.

"It's going to be better for the economy because everybody's going to be paying taxes, and everybody's going to be working. And we work hard," said Alvarez.

The group marched from the Jefferson County Courthouse to Congressman Randy Weber's office.
"We want to show Congressman Weber that it is important for him to step out on behalf of the immigrant community," said Rodriguez.

Congressman Weber's immigration reform policy reads as follows on his web site: 

My constituents want their government to secure the border, and that will be my first priority as their Representative. Ultimately, this is an issue of national security, and securing our borders is the first step towards a workable immigration reform plan.The federal government has continuously failed to do its job, and Border States and governors are struggling to pick up the pieces because of Washington's failure to enforce existing laws and work towards reform. I will not support legislation that rewards individuals for breaking the law. We need to address the root problem and reform our legal immigration system so those who want to come here to work can do so in a respectable and fair process.


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