Senator McCain For NYC Immigration Rally Today

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Mon. Feb. 27, 2006: Republican Senator John McCain, who kicked off a lobbying effort for immigration reform across America in Miami last week, is set to bring his message of earned legalization for undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants to New York City today.

McCain, who is being billed as a Presidential hopeful for 2008, is set to hold the ‘We Are America,’ rally at the auditorium of Local 32BJ SEIU, in Manhattan. The union claims it has about 85,000 members and bills itself as the largest property services union in the country.

The immigration town hall forum is co-sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel in a city where the Urban Institute puts the number of undocumented immigrants at .7 million.

The McCain lobbying effort comes, as the U.S. Senate’s Judicial Committee gets ready to discuss a reform bill on March 2 that could come to the Senate floor by March 27.

It is expected that the bill that’s presented to the full Senate will draw from H.R. 4437 sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), which was passed by the House last year and makes felons of undocumented immigrants while urging for a fence between Mexico and the U.S., and the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, which was introduced by Senators McCain and Ted Kennedy and Reps. Jeff Flake, Jim Kolbe and Luis V. Gutierrez last May. That bill calls for earned legalization for undocumented immigrants while also promoting strict border security.

Officials of the union have harshly criticized the House passage of H.R. 4437, calling it an attack on immigrant workers and a failure to address immigration reform.

They, like other labor unions, are in support of the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act.

“Our immigration system is outdated, inadequate and ineffective, but shortsighted measures such as the Sensenbrenner bill won’t fix it,” said Hector Figueroa, Local 32BJ Secretary-Treasurer. “We need sweeping reform to ensure that immigration is safe, legal, orderly and fair to workers and employers throughout the United States.” –