Immigration Bill Fails
The immigration bill would have legalized millions of illegal immigrants and tightened border patrols. Now local advocates say it's time to start over.
"This wasn't a surprise for me that nothing happened in Congress," Centro Latino's Eduardo Crespi said.
Crespi is indifferent about the failed vote. As a professional who works with immigrants, he says the administration had seven years to work on this bill, but waited until the last minute.
"We are talking about millions of people that most of them are low income working class," Crespi said. "And the idea of regulating the immigrants is to be able to reunify their families."
Likewise, the Catholic Church wanted to see change.
"There are families all over this nation that one half of them are U.S. citizens and half of them are not," Barbara Ross of the Diocese of Jefferson City said.
Catholic bishops supported and encouraged the bill. Despite the outcome of the bill, the Diocese of Jefferson City continues to educate the Catholic community about immigration reform. Bill supporters agree amendments are needed.
"There are tremendously many and high hoops for these immigrants to jump through before they become citizens," Ross said.
"We are getting ready for the future," Crespi said.
And for its own future, Centro Latino is training its own legal advocate for immigrants. Crespi says immigration will be a key topic in the next presidential election.