SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Migrant rights activists and city of San Diego political leaders rallied Tuesday in favor of introducing comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
The demonstration, involving about 50 people at the County Administration Center, came one day after President Barack Obama called for overhauling the nation's immigration system in his inauguration speech.
Christian Ramirez, of a group called Alliance San Diego, said the legislation should include a pathway to citizenship, accountability for border enforcement agencies and labor protections for migrant workers and their families.
All people in the U.S. should be able to live with dignity and respect regardless of their immigration status, he said. He was flanked by banners that read: "No human being is illegal" and "Control the Border Patrol."
"Yesterday, President Obama spoke about the need for immigration reform and today we know that as immigrants in this country, we cannot do it alone," Ramirez said. "It takes a broad coalition of elected officials, labor leaders, faith leaders to come together and to ensure that our country affords all people the rights and the dignity that a democratic society is built upon."
Mayor Bob Filner, who represented San Diego's South Bay communities in the House of Representatives for 20 years, said no single component of immigration reform will get passed by Congress.
"Comprehensive also means there is stuff in there we may not all like, that we figure out how to get a consensus," Filner said. "So comprehensive means looking at enforcement, it means looking at legalization in a much different way, it means giving people the opportunity to work, it means all of
The mayor campaigned for election last year in part on strengthening ties with neighboring Tijuana. On Monday, he called for the region to be given one telephone area code.
"We want to look at the border as the center, and not the cul-de-sac, of our community," Filner said. "We want to look at our border as a binational place where we can all achieve - can become better - whether as Mexicans or Americans."
Councilman David Alvarez said comprehensive immigration reform should be an easy choice for members of Congress.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald did not attend but a representative of her office said she backed "true immigration reform."
Ramirez said his organization and similar groups have been discussing the issue with senators and would soon turn their attention toward members of the House of Representatives, including newly seated San Diego Democratic representatives Scott Peters and Juan Vargas.
He said the activists have been told that they will need support from local leaders if an immigration bill is to pass Congress.
Thanksgiving could see record-setting heat in San Diego County, according to forecasters, who also reported the smashing of temperature records across the county on Wednesday.
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and holiday shopping are on tap for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
Your living room often becomes your work space if you work from home. If you have kids, the house can be even more chaotic. Well now, more women are able to take 10-15 steps out of their home and into their "she shed."
Around 60,000 passengers are expected to pass through San Diego's Lindbergh Field daily during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Thanksgiving meals were provided to the needy around San Diego County Wednesday, one day ahead of the holiday.
A pedestrian was killed Wednesday night in a hit-and-run crash in the Mountain View section of San Diego and police detained the driver, who fled the scene on foot after the vehicle struck a house.
U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft were searching in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier.
A decomposing body found inside a 55-gallon barrel that was floating in the San Diego Bay last month has been identified.
The always-heated topic of whether to begin holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will be raised again Thursday, as many chain stores will open their doors around San Diego one day before the so-called "Black Friday."