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Wed June 12, 2013
Nuns On The Bus Visit Las Cruces
Washington D.C. - based lobbying group "Nuns on the Bus" stopped in Las Cruces to rally behind immigration reform.
These nuns are part of a larger group called Network. Network's director for the last nine years, sister Simone Campbell, decides what issue to tackle every year.
"So what we did was we went out on the road...to push back against the Ryan budget."
This year instead of the Paul Ryan budget proposal, it's immigration.
"We said, we had some success before, why don't we go out on the road...push a few others to get involved."
Campbell says Washington D.C. Legislators may not all understand immigration the way the southwest does.
"I'll tell you this has been an education for me...because in Washington D.C. They don't know the reality."
The nuns arrived not in habits, but on a tour bus. "Our bus looks big but it only has bench seats."
They walked from the bus to Steve Pearce's local office to ask him to change current immigration law. We were asked to stay outside, but Pearce's communications director, Eric layer, had this to say in a statement:
"Congressman Pearce welcomes constructive dialogue on this important issue, because he understands that we need real solutions for all those waiting to become Americans. He is actively seeking ideas and feedback from people of all backgrounds to work toward real immigration reform."
The Catholic lobby group's website calls for "comprehensive immigration reform" asking for a "clear and direct pathway to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Catholic minister Vincent Petersen came from Tortugas to see the nuns.
"When we throw our arms open and welcome people as many of my own ancestors were, we do that today we continue a beautiful American tradition."
Other faiths were represented as well. Rabbi Larry Carol of Temple Beth-El tells me even as a child growing up in Kansas City, he understood what immigration meant. His grandparents came to the U.S. From Lithuania.
"The rules were such that no one was going to see them and say we're gonna deport you because you're not a U.S. Citizen."
Rabbi carol says he tries to use the word aspiring citizens. "...rather than undocumented immigrant."
State legislator Bill McCamley was on hand to show his support for the nuns.
"You know it's time. We have a situation where our laws don't reflect the reality of what we have here in the country."
Ultimately, the issue will come down to a U.S. Congressional vote...that could come at any time.