More than 800 people from Charlotte will travel to Washington, D.C. Sunday morning to join 10s of thousands rallying for immigration reform.
A caravan of 15 buses will leave Charlotte at midnight for the rally that will take place on the National Mall.
Ruben Campillo, state director for Reform Immigration for America, said more than 3,000 people from North Carolina will be at the rally.
“The message is simple,” he said. “We want to demand that the president and congress keep their promise to pass immigration reform.”
President Barack Obama promised to push reform in his first year of office. It's now year two and advocates have grown frustrated.
Supporters say there is still time to pass an immigration bill before the November elections. But the White House says nothing can happen without strong bipartisan support.
The rally is likely to be overshadowed by the House of Representatives if they vote that day to overhaul healthcare legislation.
Latino turned out in great numbers to help elect Obama. Now some leaders are cautioning the president and congress that their continued support may depend on passing immigration reform.
"We are still interested in seeing the Democrats succeed, and see Mr. Obama succeed," Jorge-Mario Cabrera, of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told Reuters. "However, we also are telling Congress and the president that this particular promise is so essential to our community’s well-being, to our families’ well-being, to our nation’s well-being, that if it’s not kept, we will remember in the November elections."
In response, the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which opposes giving illegal immigrants a path to legalization, called on supporters to visit their lawmakers and “and flood DC offices with calls, e-mails, and faxes opposing Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty.”
William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, cited past efforts to pass immigration reform in 2006 and 2007 failed. He said most Americans want increased enforcement against illegal immigration. "We have beaten them before and we will defeat them again," Gheen said. "We hope that more Americans fighting Washington on other issues will take notice of our past expertise in stopping out of touch lawmakers from making nation destroying mistakes."
Associated Press contributed.
Photo: Demonstrators in front of Dallas City Hall in support of fair immigration reform laws Sunday, April 9, 2006 in Dallas. (AP Photo/Fort Worth Star-Telegram,D.J. Peters)