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Immigration Reform Supporters Pray at Senator Donnelly's Office

May, 8 2013 | Indianapolis Star | Link to Article

Activists supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented residents held an unannounced prayer vigil this morning in U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s Downtown office to call on the first-term Democrat to support immigration reform legislation.

About 15 members of the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network walked the short distance from Monument Circle to the Market Street office and left a Mother’s Day card and flowers with Donnelly’s staff. Donnelly is in Washington, D.C. today.

Joe DonnellyThe multifaith group, also known as IndyCAN, wants lawmakers to approve a bill that provides a clear way for estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States to seek citizenship. Members have meet with Donnelly in the past and say they will continue regular vigils near his office until the senator announces his support.

“What we really want is for Donnelly to support a pathway to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans once the final bill is passed in the judiciary committee,” said IndyCan volunteer Patricia Alonso. “That is what we want.”

Immigration reform legislation has just begun to advance through the U.S. Senate. In the past Donnelly has said he supports heightened border security and electronic verification of employment status.

“Senator Donnelly is encouraged that a bipartisan group of senators have come together to work on a plan to reform our immigration system,” Elizabeth Shappell, Donnelly’s communications director, wrote in an email. “He is currently reviewing the legislation and looks forward to listening to the input of Hoosiers from across the state.”