March 18, 2014
Late last year members of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition acknowledged that there was little hope Congress would pass much-anticipated legislation granting citizenship to people in the U.S. illegally. So the group stopped lobbying for the bill and shifted to a different approach.
Six of its activists last month chained themselves across the entrance to the Travis County jail near Austin to protest its participation in a federal program to find people here illegally, part of a growing effort to focus on stopping deportations. It has made strides. Just last week, President Barack Obama directed administration officials to review how people are shipped out of the country.
Many immigrant groups are still pushing for a bill to grant citizenship to many of the 11 million people here illegally. But Republican House Speaker John Boehner has said that legislation is unlikely to be passed in the GOP-led House, at least this year.