While U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R) addressed people gathered for a fund raiser in Harrisburg, supporters of immigration reform rallied in City Island and called for action.
The fund raiser, which was closed to the press, was for Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA 4th). Boehner did not comment after the event.
“We are a diverse group of people here to tell John Boehner that he is not standing up for citizens in general,” said Tonya Morrow, of Allentown.
Before the summer recess, the Senate passed a sweeping immigration bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and puts more money and resources toward border security and surveillance.
Perry said he anticipates the House to pass immigration legislation this year in a piecemeal fashion as opposed to one large bill. But, he does not anticipate that legislation to simply mirror what the Senate has done.
“We know the system is broken. However, we’re not going to, and the House is not going to, the American people do not want to reward people that break the law as their first act to come into this country,” said Perry. “We don’t want to just fix it to say that we fixed and actually make the matters sometimes worse, which is in my opinion what overall the Senate bill does.”
Among the people gathered on City Island was Carmen Guerrero. She came to Pennsylvania 13 years ago seeking asylum from the violence in Mexico. She did not apply for asylum within the required one-year deadline and is an undocumented immigrant.
“I’m a single mom. I’m working very hard to raise my kids. I’m paying my taxes. I’m trying to speak English. I’m trying to do my best,” said Guerrero.
Lawmakers will return to Washington after Labor Day.