Labor groups back immigration protest

12/03/2013 05:50:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Arturo RodriguezCourtesy United Farm WorkersUnited Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez speaks Dec. 3 at Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office in Bakersfield, Calif.A California group supporting immigration reform whose backers include United Farm Workers has begun a planned 11-day sit-in and fast at the Bakersfield office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

The Republican lawmaker is the majority whip in the House of Representatives.

The protest action is scheduled to run Dec. 3-13, ending on Congress’ final day in session. The group, Kern Coalition for Citizenship, is urging McCarthy to schedule a vote on immigration legislation. McCarthy said in November no vote will happen before the end of the year.

McCarthy was a union target as United Farm Workers rallied in Fresno Oct. 4 for a campaign to collect more than 10,000 letters urging him to back agricultural provisions in the Senate immigration bill that included a path to citizenship.

The new campaign, dubbed “11 days for 11 million,” follows a similar fast on behalf of the issue begun last month on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The Bakersfield action is a form of occupying McCarthy’s office, according to a news release.

Dec. 3 speakers included UFW president Arturo Rodriguez and Art Pulaski, secretary treasurer of the California Labor Federation.

Elsewhere in his district, canvassers plan to contact McCarthy’s constituents about the issue and register new voters.

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