News & Media

PICO National Network Turns up the Heat on 30 House Members with “Summer for Citizenship”

July 26, 2013

PICO National Network Turns up the Heat on 30 House Members with “Summer for Citizenship”

Month-long 12 state effort to secure citizenship in the House starts with rally at Speaker Boehner’s Ohio office


WASHINGTON —Tomorrow, the Campaign for Citizenship, a project of PICO National Network, will begin a month-long effort to turn up the heat on members of the House of Representatives, pressuring members to declare their support for a direct, inclusive and affordable pathway to citizenship for all 11 million aspiring Americans. Through events in 30 congressional districts across 12 states attended by 50,000 faith and community leaders the Summer for Citizenship will powerfully demonstrate what polls have already shown, that people of faith overwhelmingly support a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented Americans.

The Summer for Citizenship kicks off tomorrow, July 27, with a march on Speaker John Boehner’s District office. March leaders will call on Boehner to hold a vote for legislation that includes a path to citizenship. They will also call on Speaker Boehner to intervene in the deportation of DREAMer Julio Tellez, who has two citizen siblings and is currently in deportation proceedings after being taken in when his car broke down on the side of the highway. Earlier this week, Boehner chastised Iowa Rep. Steve King for comments he made about DREAMers, calling for a civil debate on immigration reform.

The Summer for Citizenship continues on Sunday when Republican Representative Mike Coffman is expected to join hundreds of aspiring Americans and their allies in a town hall in Aurora, Colorado. Last week, Coffman wrote an op-ed for the Denver Post supporting an earned path to citizenship.

“When members of Congress go home to their districts in August, people of faith will be waiting for them,” said Eddie Carmona, campaign director for the Campaign for Citizenship. “We’re turning up the heat on these members and making sure they hear from all the immigrant Americans in their districts and from their families, friends, neighbors and faith communities who are citizens planning to vote in the 2014 elections. From Ohio to Colorado and from California to Florida, members of House who haven’t publicly expressed support for a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million aspiring Americans will feel the heat from us until they do.”


Events, including marches, rallies, prayer vigils and a 22-day pilgrimage are being organized by PICO National Network and local PICO federations. The Campaign for Citizenship represents Americans of faith who believe that creating a roadmap to full citizenship rights for 11 million aspiring Americans is the only response to our broken patchwork of immigration laws that is consistent with the American values of family, freedom, fairness.


“Republican and Democratic party leaders have a unique chance to show just how connected they are with people of faith, the growing American Latino community and the American values of fairness, family and faith by supporting a pathway to citizenship,” said the Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, a Baptist minister and the director of clergy organizing for PICO National Network. “The events of the next month are an opportunity for these House members to witness the pain and suffering that our broken immigration system has caused in our community and to lift up our lawmakers in prayer. We are praying that they will have the courage to do the right thing and support all the aspiring Americans in their districts and all those voters who live, work and worship with them.”

The cities where vigils are occurring include: Springfield, Ohio; Atlantic City, Northfield, Ocean City, and Somers Point in New Jersey; Modesto, Delano, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, San Diego, Anaheim, Stockton, and Sacramento in California; Orlando, Winter Garden, and Plant City in Florida; Aurora, Colorado; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Additional locations and events will be added over the course of the month.

July 27: March on the Springfield, Ohio office of Rep. John Boehner

July 27: March in Victorville, California, district of Rep. Paul Cook

July 27, 28: California Sabbath for Citizenship in several cities across California

July 28: Town hall in Aurora, Colorado, with Rep. Mike Coffman

Beginning August 1: A continuous prayer vigil at Rep. Daniel Webster’s office in Winter Garden, Florida

Week of August 1: Week-long prayer vigil outside Rep. Frank Lobiondo’s Mays Landing, New Jersey office

August 7: Rally at Rep. Steve Pearce’s “Mobile Outreach” in Las Cruces, New Mexico 

August 9: Rally in Anaheim, California district of Rep. Ed Royce

August 10: 1,000-person voter training and pilgrimage in district of Rep. Darryl Issa, California

August 10: Clergy breakfast in Orlando with Florida congressional members

August 11:  22-day California “Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship” launches in Sacramento

August 11: Prayer vigil in Rep. Dent’s district in Pennsylvania

August 12: Rally in Santa Ana, California, district of Rep. Loretta Sanchez

August 15: California pilgrimage hosts a rally in Stockton, California, district of Rep. Jerry McNerney

August 17: California pilgrimage hosts rally in Modesto, district of Rep. Jeff Denham

August 19: New Jersey Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship hosts a rally outside Rep. Frank Lobiondo’s Mays Landing, New Jersey office

August 20:  California pilgrimage hosts a rally in Merced, California, district of Rep. Jim Costa

August 20: Rally in Reno, Nevada, district of Rep. Mark Amodei

August 24: California pilgrimage hosts a rally in Fresno, California, district of Rep. Devin Nunes

August 24: California pilgrimage hosts a rally in San Bernardino, near the districts of Rep. Gary Miller and Rep. Paul Cook

August 25: Rally in Indianapolis, district of Rep. Susan Brooks

August 28: California pilgrimage hosts rally in Irvine, district of Rep. John Campbell

August 30: California pilgrimage hosts a rally in Delano, district of Rep. David Valadao

September 1: California Sabbath for Citizenship in San Bernardino, near the districts of Rep. Gary Miller and Rep. Paul Cook

September 2: California pilgrimage ends with rally in Bakersfield, district of Rep. Kevin McCarthy

September 7: March in Orlando, near the district of Rep. Dennis Ross, Rep. Daniel Webster, and Rep. Gus Bilirakis

September 8-10: March for Citizenship on Washington, D.C.

Media RSVP: Many of these events are open to the press. For more information media should contact Tom Fazzini at PICO National Network, (202) 505-1210, tom@rabinowitz-dorf.com



PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org.