As a historic immigration bill is passed on Capitol Hill, NBC Connecticut's Seth Lemon has local reaction.
On the steps outside Junta for Progressive Action, New Haven’s oldest Latino community-based nonprofit, they applauded for their victories Friday and cheered for the job ahead of them.
Senator Richard Bluementhal led immigration activists in hailing for house support. An immigration reform bill that paves the way for millions of undocumented immigrants to become citizens cleared major hurdles in the U.S. Senate yesterday.
“We need a call to action across the country,” said Blumenthal. “A call to action that says the House of Representatives must pass this bill.”
Senators passed the bill with an overwhelming majority vote 68-32, showing their support for 11 million undocumented immigrants across the states.
But as the bill moves forward it faces an uphill battle.
“I think we have a lot to do in order to pass the House,” said Lucas Codognolla.
Codognolla calls himself an activist and a dreamer. But he realizes the bill passed in the Senate is far from perfect.
“The immigrant community will have to come out more and share their stories, share their specific situations,” said Codognolla. “So the representatives can see that this is not just a political issue.”
But those who oppose the bill see it as just that.
In a statement, Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform said, "Enactment of this bill will increase unemployment and drive down wages for American workers … We fully expect that this betrayal of the American public will be dead on arrival in the House."
“We want to just have a chance to the place where we call home,” responded Codognolla.
And Senator Blumenthal says he welcomes the immigrants with open arms.
“I will be proud to welcome them as my fellow Americans.”