Immigrant Rights Supporters Make Three-Day Pilgrimage


Even in 100-degree conditions, the fight for the rights of immigrants doesn’t abate, and the Coalition for Immigrant Rights of Idaho is set to lead a three-day Citizenship Walk from Wilder to Meridian to address the issue of immigration reform in the Gem State starting July 1 at 4 p.m.

With the recent passing of immigration reform bill S. 744 by the U.S. Senate, the Citizenship Walk is one of celebration and support for the future of immigration reform.

“We’re celebrating where immigration reform is today,” Krista Bustamante, one of the event's organizers, told Boise Weekly. “But we also want to encourage our congressmen to continue to move forward with bipartisan immigration reform.”

Upon the group’s arrival at Meridian City Hall, supporters of comprehensive immigration reform will address the public and, hopefully, get the attention of Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, who opposes the Senate bill in its current form.

“Our excitement for the Senate-passed bill is that it’s the closest we’ve ever been to comprehensive immigration reform in the last fifteen years,” Bustamante said. “We want to lift the spirits and go back to the moral argument that immigration reform will help in the effort to reunite families.”

A peaceful display of this manner emphasizes its ultimate value to the community, said Citizenship Walk spokesman, Fernando Mejia.

“It means a lot for the moral argument. People are willing to risk themselves. It’s going to be really hot, and people are still willing to do it,” he said. “The message is that we are here, we want to stay here, and we are contributing back to society.”

The demonstration will take supporters on a 30-mile journey from the Chula Vista Housing Authority in Wilder to the steps of Meridian City Hall on Wednesday, July 3. However, according to Bustamante, the walk will be taken in strides to accommodate extreme conditions for the safety of families and individuals involved.