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House Lawmakers to Celebrate Immigration at NY Events

Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 02:59 PM

By Lisa Barron

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will join a group of congressmen on a three-day trip to New York next week to take part in a series of immigration-related events.

As part of the "Becoming America" tour, the groups will attend events on Ellis Island and at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the African Burial Ground National Monument, reports Politico.

The congressmen will also speak at a naturalization ceremony and have a breakfast meeting at Gracie Mansion with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a strong advocate of immigration reform.

"This trip is another bipartisan occasion to come together and celebrate the stories and traditions of so many of our families who came to this great country to pursue the American dream and build a brighter future for our children," Cantor said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It helps us to be removed from Washington and not be in the limelight of all that happens inside the Beltway," Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley of New York, one of the tour leaders, told Politico. "It gives us a chance to get outside, and what better place to go than New York City, symbolic of immigration for our country? It's the epicenter of immigration."

In addition to Crowley and Cantor, the list of participants reportedly includes Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida who will also serve as a tour leader, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Michael Grimm of New York.

Among the Democrats will be Reps. Barbara Lee, Lois Capps and Susan Davis of California; Carolyn Maloney of New York; Luis Gutierrez of Illinois; Steve Cohen of Tennessee; Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona.
The Faith & Politics Institute, a nonprofit interfaith organization, is coordinating the trip.

"In everything we do at The Faith & Politics Institute, our hope is to promote goodwill on Capitol Hill," Elizabeth McCloskey, the institute's president and CEO told Politico. The trip will be funded by the lawmakers' personal funds or their campaign accounts.

Although the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill last month, the House has no immediate plans to debate immigration legislation.

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