Local News Matters weekly newsletter
Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.
A group of immigrant rights activists shut down Golden Gate Bridge traffic Thursday to call on federal legislators to pass trillions of dollars in social program spending and create a pathway to citizenship for people living in the country illegally.
Activists with the Bay Area Coalition for Economic Justice and Citizenship for All stopped their vehicles on the bridge Thursday morning, blocking northbound traffic for roughly 45 minutes while they exited their vehicles onto the bridge to hold the demonstration.
According to the activists, California Highway Patrol officers ultimately arrested five demonstrators.
“Both Republican and Democratic administrations have not only benefited from the exploitation of undocumented workers, they have vastly extended policies that dehumanized, criminalized, and deported immigrants (disproportionately Black immigrants), as the appalling repression of Haitian refugees at the border demonstrates,” the coalition and the group Movement for Citizenship for All said in a joint statement. “This injustice must stop.”
“The time to deliver economic justice, climate justice and citizenship for all is now.”Bay Area Coalition for Economic Justice and Citizenship for All
The activists called on Congressional Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris — who would cast the tie-breaking vote in a 50-50 party-line vote in the Senate — to ignore the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that a pathway to citizenship cannot be included in the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package that federal legislators are currently considering.
Democrats are attempting to pass the $3.5 trillion funding package — aimed at so-called “human infrastructure” priorities like expanding Medicare, child care, paid leave and making two years of community college free for all students — through a baroque process called budget reconciliation, which would allow for the bill’s passage by a simple majority vote rather than the standard 60-vote requirement for most legislation.
Activists with the Bay Area Coalition argued that the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling on what can and cannot be included in a reconciliation bill is non-binding, and that the Senate is not beholden to the parliamentarian anyway because they are appointed by the Senate Majority Leader and do not hold a “democratically elected” position.
The activists also called on Congressional Democrats to ensure that funding to combat climate change and the pathway to citizenship are included in the final reconciliation bill.
“The time to deliver economic justice, climate justice and citizenship for all is now,” the groups said in their joint statement.