Washington D.C. March 21 - The buses were lined up side by side on Washington Street in New York City preparation for the long trip down to Washington D.C. for the historical immigration rally scheduled today at the National mall . One after another the passengers arrived; alone, in couples and larger groups talking feverishly about today's rally. At 6 a.m. sharp, the buses closed their doors and began the journey carrying within many people who, if asked would tell you, that they have been struggling for years as victims of the broken immigration laws. Soon enough they settle down and the buzz of conversation fills the air. The organizers of the rally are expecting close to 100,000 people to eventually show up. They hope that voices of the more than 11 million illegal immigrants, their families, friends and employers are heard. Some worry that unless the heathcare reform debate is resolved, the rally may be in vain. Most however, are hopeful that the rally will be a catalyst that turns the congressional engines and starts them working on a true comprehensive immigration reform bill. Hopes are high that the recent Schumer/Graham Senate proposal and the Houses' Gutierrez comprehensive immigration bill will eventually come together as a law; and preferably before this year's election.
At the rear of the bus there are three people, carrying camera and other recording equipment. They are reporters from the Brazilian TV show "America Legal" which is broadcast on www.VejaTV.com, RBTI on DISH Network. Their videos are displayed on thousands of websites throughout the world. Vejatv.com is considered by many as the primary voice of the Brazilian community in the United States. VejatTV.com was the winner of the prestigious 2009 Brazilian Press Award and their daily news show "Noticias Diarias'" won as the best Brazilian network television community show. Joao Vianna, managing director of vejatv.com commented by cell phone that they were going to Washington by bus to feel the excitement and to get a first hand understanding of the plight of the illegal immigrant in the United States. According to Vianna "the people that we have interviewed so far are positive that President Obama was telling the truth when he said that he is committed to immigration reform. They believe that (today's rally will be the turning point of the immigration debate and very soon they will hear good news comng from the White House)." Cristina Natividade, the anchor for the daily news show "Noticias Diarias" commented that " we have been receiving an exorbitant amount of e-mails ever since it appeared that the healthcare debate may be coming to an end. The immigrant community realizes that Obama has much on his plate and when he took office he took over a country in serious trouble. Yet he has managed to stop the financial crash and move the country towards financial recovery, and as soon as he resolves healthcare, he will surely help his constituents by fixing the broken immigration system."
Sitting next to them is Juarez Souza who is the radio jockey for Radio Aleluia Am 1640, a Newark Nj based portuguese language radio station. He said that "Radio Aleluia Am 1640 was founded on religious principles and most religious leader in the United States worry about members of their parish who have suffered with the non-stop ICE activities that have in many ways ripped families apart by deporting one of the parents. We all pray that this march to Washington does what it is intended to do: get the focus of politicians on immigration reform this year."
The bus is scheduled to arrive in Washington D.C. shortly and Joao Vianna has agreed to contact us directly from the rally to give us first hand interviews with the participants.