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October 5 Day of Action: Marching For Dignity & Respect For Immigrants

OCT 5: National Day for Human Dignity and Respect. OctoberImmigration.org, ReformaOctubre.org

The overwhelming majority of Americans support immigration reform with a real deal on citizenship for aspiring citizens. Tomorrow, many of these ordinary Americans across the country will be rallying and marching in the streets to demand that our lawmakers in the Capitol make good on their promise. On October 5, members of the faith, immigrant, labor, and civil rights communities will be calling on Congress to pass meaningful, comprehensive legislation that reflects the dignity and respect that immigrant families in America deserve.

The weekend events lead up to the October 8 finale in Washington, DC, where tens of thousands will gather on the National Mall to celebrate Camino Americano: the Concert for Immigrant Dignity and Respect. They will then march onward to the U.S. Capitol to send a message to the House of Representatives, where reform legislation remains pending: the nation's eyes are on you. Lawmakers in the House say they want to get immigration reform done. Here is their moment: it's time to do it -- and do it right, without any further delay.

The renewed pressure from these lawmakers' constituents comes on the heels of an entire summer of activities and events led by advocates, including 1,200 events, vigils, and protests in more than 40 states and nearly 100, 000 contacts with members of Congress. At the state level, lawmakers have long been working to move state-based immigration proposals forward, such as the drivers license proposals in California, as well as counter outrageously flawed proposals such as the Arizona bill. But the states cannot be alone in taking action on immigration, especially just because Congress so far has refused to -- and it doesn't have to be that way. Nor should it be that way: the proposal at the heart of comprehensive immigration reform that America needs -- citizenship for the immigrants who are already living in our communities as our friends, neighbors, and colleagues -- can be enacted only by Congress.

The October 5th Day of Dignity and Respect events across the states and the October 8 finale events in the nation's capital are an important opportunity for Americans to send that message, in a strong unified voice: get immigration reform done and get it done now.

Matthew Pate contributed to this post.