• Activists from Charlotte travel to Virginia for immigration protest

    By: Andrew Doud


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Juan Ramos came to the United States five years ago from El Salvador. He and his parents are undocumented and he said it's a concern he lives with every day.

    "I know that if they go out, they are risking something. And they know that I'm risking as well -- being detained or arrested even if I ride the bus," Ramos said.

    But Thursday, Ramos and a handful of others left from the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte bound for Richmond, Va. to protest outside Rep. Eric Cantor's (R-Virginia) office.

    "Things are moving very, very slowly in the House," said Armando Bellmas with the Latin American Coalition.

    Bellmas said Cantor's office is one of three nationwide where protests will be Thursday. Others will be outside House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office in Ohio and Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-California) office in California.

    Bellmas said these Republicans are key figures in Congress delaying immigration reform.

    "We have a broken immigration system and we need to make sure that they address that as soon as possible," Bellmas said.

    President Barack Obama said Thursday that reform should happen before the end of the year.

    "I am not running for office again, I just believe this is the right things to do," Obama said.

    Bellmas said they need a comprehensive reform plan.

    "The most important one for us being some kind of a pathway to citizenship, to status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently live in the united states," Bellmas said.

    Boehner has said he's optimistic the house could act on immigration before the year's end -- but not that Republicans will support the comprehensive approach the president and others like Bellmas are looking for.

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