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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Redmond high schooler confronts Speaker Boehner on immigration

A 16-year-old immigration activist and Redmond high School student was one of two girls who confronted House Speaker John Boehner over the issue of immigration reform as he tried to get breakfast on Capitol Hill this morning.

Jennifer Martinez, who is a U.S. citizen, is active in the OneAmerica Youth Program, which engages high-school students across the Puget Sound region on immigration issues.

She and her companion, Carmen Lima, 13, of California, told Boehner that as a father he might understand what it’s like to be separated from his children, the way many undocumented immigrant parents are.

Boehner responded: “Well, I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done. It’s, uh, you know, not easy — not gonna be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done.”

Less than an hour later, Boehner ruled out any action this year on immigration in the House.

Immigrant advocates, religious and labor groups, and employers have been trying to pressure the Speaker to take up an immigration bill pending in the House that would provide a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country. They have also been urging House Republicans to support the bill.

U.S. Catholics across the country, as well as here in Washington state, are being encouraged today to call their lawmakers to ask for their support.

About 13 people were risking arrest outside the Eastern Washington offices of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, R-Spokane, in an act of civil disobedience similar to one that led to last week’s arrest of 33 women who refused to leave the Bellevue offices of the Washington State Republican Party.

Comments | Topics: immigration, John Boehner

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