WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A couple of blocks from the White House on Thursday, there was an immigration rally made up of protestors who are putting the pressure on large companies like Home Depot.
CASA de Maryland, an immigration rights group, says the large home improvement company financially supports political action committees that support leaders like House Speaker John Boehner.
Reform advocates are hoping that by pressuring Home Depot, political leaders like Boehner will take action on immigration reform.
At the White House, once again, the President is calling for immigration reform post-shutdown. And Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), commented after watching Obama’s speech, which stated that fixing the broken system as soon as possible was the right thing to do.
"The president can bluster and swagger and he can talk all he wants to about trying to pass a big amnesty bill -- it's not going to happen," he said.
Stein’s organization has been opposed to efforts to repair the nation’s immigration system. He says the current bill passed in the Senate needs to be scrubbed and that Congress need s to start over in 2014:
"The Senate immigration bill reduces wages, reduces working conditions, drives more Americans out of the labor market, causes tax payers to pay more money..." he said.
According to Stein, average Americans want Washington to focus on jobs and the economy.
But President Obama insists that immigration overhaul would fulfill that goal.
"It's good for our economy, it's good for our national security, it's good for our people -- and we should do it this year," he said.
But critics are still wondering if anything can be accomplished – especially after what we saw with negotiations over the shutdown.
"As a result of the recent deficit and debt debate, the political atmosphere has been so poisoned that it's impossible to have the kind of good faith and trust relationship to move a contentious piece of legislation, like the immigration bill, forward," said Stein.
But some hope remains for immigrants’ rights groups.
POLITICO is reporting that Boehner told a group at a closed party meeting that immigration reform is an important topic that needs to be addressed – and that he is hopeful something could happen before the end of the year.
At the rally, they are hoping Boehner follows through.
Elizabeth Alex with CASA de Maryland: "We just need the House to call a vote on the issue. That's why we're here today."
In Thursday morning's remarks by President Obama, he stated:
Everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken. Across the political spectrum, people understand that. We’ve known it for years. It’s not smart to invite some of the brightest minds from around the world to study here and then not let them start businesses here -- we send them back to their home countries to start businesses and create jobs and invent new products someplace else.
It’s not fair to businesses and middle-class families who play by the rules when we allow companies that are trying to undercut the rules work in the shadow economy, to hire folks at lower wages or no benefits, no overtime, so that somehow they get a competitive edge from breaking the rules. That doesn’t make sense.
So this isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. Securing our borders; modernizing our legal immigration system; providing a pathway to earned, legalized citizenship; growing our economy; strengthening our middle class; reducing our deficits -- that’s what common-sense immigration reform will do.