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Immigrant Activists Putting Pressure On Bilbray

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Immigrant Activists Putting Pressure On Bilbray

Immigrant Activists Putting Pressure On Bilbray

Photo by Adrian Florido

DREAM Act supporters, some of them undocumented, brought shoes to a protest at Congressman Brian Bilbray's office. Bilbray famously said law enforcement could identify illegal immigrants by the clothes they wore, "right down to the shoes."

SAN DIEGO -- Immigrant rights activists are putting pressure on Congressman Brian Bilbray, who is running for re-election in the newly minted 52nd Congressional District, which covers coastal and northern parts of San Diego County.

About a dozen young adults, some of them undocumented, stood outside Bilbray’s office in Solana Beach on Thursday afternoon, demanding he support the DREAM Act, which would legalize many young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children.

As chairman of the powerful Immigration Reform Caucus, Bilbray has taken hard anti-immigrant stances. He’s in a tight re-election race against Democratic challenger Scott Peters, who has said he supports the DREAM Act.

“Bilbray took a leadership role in an anti-immigrant forum. We would like to see leaders from San Diego in favor of leading immigration reform," said Victor Ravago, a member of the DREAM Action Coalition.

Still, he said that while he welcomes Peters’ support for the DREAM Act, Ravago would like him to clarify his vague stance on other immigration issues.

Most of the young adults who showed up Thursday said they were more concerned with getting Bilbray to change his stance on immigration issues than with necessarily voting him out of office.

A Bilbray spokesman highlighted the fact that Peters has not made his stance on immigration issues very clear.

This week, however a different immigrants’ coalition, called America's Voice, started running Spanish-language radio ads in San Diego attacking Bilbray and supporting Peters.