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With much to discuss, immigrant rights groups gather in Las Vegas

Associated Press

Protesters take part in a Los Angeles motorcade to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Las Vegas becomes a meeting place this week for 41 of the largest regional immigration and refugee rights organizations in the country..

The National Immigration Integration Conference at the Westgate bills itself as the largest U.S. conference to discuss immigration policy.

Among the topics to be discussed are ways President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure and environmental agenda would impact the immigrant community.

“Climate change is important to everyone in Nevada, but in particular immigrants,” said Rudy Zamora, director of the Hispanic advocacy group Chispa Nevada. “We have to make sure that the air that we're breathing is clean; most of the immigrant communities and low-income families live in areas of the state that are the most polluted.”

Zamora also said the conference will also discuss reforming immigration law — and the challenges of making that happen.

“Every election that we keep hearing, we're finally going to get immigration reform and we're going to finally get a solution to immigration, and our communities are just tired of it,” he said.

Zamora said people who have peacefully lived in this country for years should be provided an opportunity to become citizens.

“We have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), we have TPS (temporary protected status), we have other things, but none of those are a clear pathway to citizenship,” he said.”And there's so many people in this country that deserve a pathway to citizenship.

“I myself was a (DACA) dreamer at one point, and I'm fortunate enough to be a citizen now, but DACA is just the initial step.”

Rudy Zamora, director, Chispa Nevada.

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