Southern California Immigration Activists Rally in Anticipation of Reform Bill

The events come after an announcement from Sen. Dianne Feinstein that two key groups have reached a "tentative agreement"

Activists marched and rallied in Southern California Wednesday during nationwide day of action in anticipation of what could be a landmark immigration bill that might be released within a week.

The events come after a "tentative agreement" was reached between agriculture workers and growers, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) said Tuesday. The agreement between the two groups -- they have been at odds over worker wages and how many visas should be offered in a new program to bring agriculture workers to the United States -- opens the way for the immigration reform bill.

Feinstein did not release details of the agreement and said growers have not signed off. A resolution is possible within the week, Feinstein told the Associated Press.

"There's a tentative agreement on a number of things, and we're waiting to see if it can get wrapped up,'' Feinstein said told the AP. "I'm very hopeful. The train is leaving the station. We need a bill."

Immigration activists rallied Wednesday for the bill at events in Southern California and across the country as a bipartisan group of senators attempts to craft legislation designed to secure the border and provide a path to citizenship. Resolving the dispute between the farm workers union and agriculture industry is a key hurdle, and lawmakers have indicated an agreement on the bill might be reached this week.

In a call for action on the legislation, activists marched to Feinstein's West Los Angeles office at Sepulveda Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard after a noon rally. A crowd gathered on the sidewalk outside the office at mid-day.

Another march began at 11 a.m. from Bad News Bears Field at Ohio Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard to Feinstein's office.

Activists with Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles and Hermandad Mexicana of Van Nuys rallied Wednesday morning outside the Van Nuys Civic Center. Participants at the intersection held signs that read "Immigration Reform for Families" and "The Time Is Now: Keep Families United."

After a 3 p.m. march to to the office of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) on Van Nuys Boulevard, a representative of the congressman told those gathered that Sherman was working on the issue today.

For protester Guiliana Quevado, an undocumented immigrant, getting new legal status would mean visiting being able to leave the country to visit her grandmother's grave.

"We also have rights," Quevado said, tearing up. "We've been here for a long time."

Organizers also planned a drive to get people to register to vote in San Bernardino.

NBC4's Lolita Lopez contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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