The ride across the Golden Gate Bridge Thursday morning was agonizing. Shortly before 7a.m., dozens of protestors drove onto northbound lanes, and stopped traffic.
"Forty undocumented families and their allies, bravely took over the golden gate bridge to send a powerful message, not only to congress but to the nation that immigrants deserve a path to citizenship now," said one unidentified protestor.
Protestors said their collective goal isn’t to engender ire from motorists, but action in Washington, D.C.
The Senate and House could vote as soon as this week on a $3.5T spending bill containing several steps that would reform immigration.
"We say we welcome those who are homeless, or downtrodden, or needy. It’s time to extend that arm. Not just have a statue of liberty standing in a harbor," said Rev. Jethroe Moore II former president of the San Jose-Silicon Valley NAACP.
A pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants is central to a growing call for action. But also, paid family leave; a child tax credit, funding for construction to house the homeless; and funding for free community college.
"We block the bridge, I could ask anyone here, my sense is out of desperation," said Richard Hobbs, executive director of the non-profit Human Agenda.
Desperation is being driven in part by the Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough. She nixed language in the bill giving millions of would-be immigrants legal status.
"Me as a teacher, am constantly thinking, will my parents be deported? Will I be deported?," said DACA recipient Cesar Juarez."
Passing the reforms would end the deportation threat. But, it’s not directly tied to spending, and as such, the Senate can’t consider it in this type of bill.
At a second rally Thursday outside San Jose’s federal building, demonstrators demanded Vice President Kamala Harris override the parliamentarian.
"If she does not ignore the parliamentarian, then the Democratic party will have a political crisis," said Hobbs.
Protestors said the integrity of the Democrat party is riding on the spending vote -- meaning there could be more commutes like the congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge, if Washington lawmakers can’t find an effective compromise.