PUEBLO Action Fund held a vigil calling for immigration reform at the Santa Barbara Courthouse on Monday. More than 400 people attended the event to thank Representative Lois Capps for cosponsoring Representative Luis Gutierrez’s (D-IL) immigration bill. Belen Seara, executive director of PUEBLO, said that the vigil urged Representative Elton Gallegly to address immigration reform.
Gutierrez’s bill pushes for the legalization of undocumented immigrants working in the United States. PUEBLO Action Fund is just one of more than 50 organizations in California that have joined the Reform Immigration for America campaign. More than 30 actions, which include holding vigils, rallies, and calling days, have already occurred throughout California, and 20 more are scheduled before February 20. Reform Immigration for America hopes that the final legislation will require undocumented immigrants to go through background checks, pay taxes, and study English.
The group stresses the importance of keeping families together, a feeling echoed at the vigil on Monday night. “This is a family issue,” Seara said. “Many families have been broken because of deportation.”