With the Statue of Liberty peeking out through the haze behind them, the Nuns on the Bus set off on another whirlwind tour, this time advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. Their coast-to-coast road trip coincided with a high stakes Senate debate on the 867-page bipartisan immigration bill drafted by the so-called “Gang of Eight.”
“It’s not perfect,” Sister Simone Campbell, the nuns’ leader, said of the bill. “But it is the way forward. And we’ve got a narrow window of time where Congress is paying attention to it, so ‘We the People’ have got to make sure they do it.”
We followed the nuns from their launch event in Newark, N.J. to an early stop in Camden, N.J. — a center of urban poverty and decay once written off as dead, but slowly being brought back to life by a new wave of immigration.
After leaving Camden, the nuns continued on to Washington D.C., where Campbell, met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. From there, the bus headed south, stopping at churches, community centers and at the offices of Senators Saxby Chambliss, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz before reaching the border towns of Laredo and El Paso, Texas. The nuns then met with staffers in Sen. John McCain’s office and headed to California where they rallied with the United Farm Workers. The 6,500 mile road trip ended yesterday at San Francisco’s Marina Green, with Angel Island — the West Coast’s version of Ellis Island — visible in the distance.
The Senate is expected to vote on immigration reform sometime before the July 4th holiday. The battle then moves to the House of Representatives.
Producer: Lauren Feeney. Camera: Cameron Hickey