300 immigration reform advocates rally in downtown Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Supporters of immigration reform rallied Saturday in downtown Yakima. Over 30 churches from around the valley were there.

"I have so many friends who are in the position are 'so called illegally' here because of documentation," said speaker John Ecker from St. Paul Catholic Church.

Immigrant families, students and other groups in favor of immigration reform, rallied Saturday afternoon in front of Rep. Doc Hastings' office. This rally is part of 180 similar events across the country as part of the National Day of Action for Dignity and Respect.

"We had the opportunity to become Americans rather quickly. And yea times have changed but still Hispanics need that opportunity too," said Richard Reuther.

"We want the legal citizenship for all immigrations who have been here for years, who have worked and who deserve it," Juanita Soto told KIMA.

Nearly 300 advocates attended including neighbors from Pasco, Sunnyside, Prescott and even Mt. Vernon. All supporters here are hoping for change some time soon.

"I'd like to see congress go back to work and fix it," said Reuther.

"What are you hoping to accomplish with the government shutdown?" asked a KIMA reporter.

"Well with the government shutdown the question is what lessons will members on congress learn from the shutdown experience. Our hope that they realize it's time for them to do something is bipartisan," said Director, Rich Stolz.

The House of Democrats introduced a bill earlier this week with a bipartisan approach to boarder enforcement.

To be fair and cover the story equally, Action News reached out to multiple Facebook viewers and groups who commented they are not in favor of the reform. Additionally we called Doc Hastings's office. We have yet heard any response.

This is a window of opportunity for advocates, hoping that Congress will vote and pass an immigration reform bill this year.

After several speakers took the stage, everyone marched to Doc Hastings' office where advocates created a human chain around the building.