Photo: United We Dream
Activists supporting immigration reform on Thursday delivered 224 cantaloupes to lawmakers in Congress to symbolize immigrant labor and demanded a vote on legalizing undocumented residents of the United States.
During a press conference, representatives of the activists explained that they were delivering the melons to the 224 lawmakers in the House of Representatives, including three Democrats, who last month voted for an amendment sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to eliminate funding for a program that suspends the deportation of young, undocumented immigrants, many of them students who were brought here by their parents.
They are also undertaking their activities in Congress to condemn the recent comments King made about undocumented students, known as “Dreamers.”
King had claimed that young, undocumented immigrants had “calves the size of cantaloupes” from carrying large amounts of marijuana across the border, a claim he has defended on multiple occasions since then.
Jose Diaz, an activist with the United We Dream group, said that House Speaker John Boehner should allow a vote on immigration reform that would legalize the status of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.
The melons delivered on Thursday in the Cannon office building, which includes the offices of members of the lower house, were labeled with two messages: “This cantaloupe was picked by immigrants in California,” and “You gave Steve King a vote. Give us a vote for citizenship.”
Last month, in a 224-201 vote, 221 Republicans and three Democrats approved an amendment eliminating funds from the Deferred Action program implemented by the Obama Administration in August 2012 that suspended for two years the deportation of undocumented students.
Although the measure is temporary, the pro-reform legislators’ idea is to continue exerting pressure until Congress moves forward with an immigration reform package like the one approved by the Senate in June.