Why big rallies will not help achieve immigration reform

Sorry, but the big immigration rallies taking place in several cities for immigration reform will not work.

They have been tried before and only succeeded in galvanizing opposition to the notion of immigration reform from the right wingers who relish the chance to paint the demonstrators as lawbreakers and somehow a danger to America.

Even Martin Luther King understood there was a time to stop marching and get President Lyndon Johnston to work on civil rights legislation.

There have been huge marches for several years all over America yet we are not a step closer to immigration reform.

Marches in the past have adequately made the point that a groundswell for action is clearly apparent across the country.

The much harder part is to get the legislators to listen.

That can only be done by creating effective political lobbying and on the ground activism.

The Irish Lobby for Immigration reform showed how that could be done a few years back. The leadership was equally drawn from Republican and Democratic activists .

When Kennedy/McCain was being debated they showed up in Washington and visited every congressional office and made their case. They held fundraisers for candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike that favored reform.

John McCain later stated they changed the minds of at least two Republican senators. Four Republican senators showed up at their rallies .

It is that kind of targeted lobbying, including building political action committees that can make a difference.

The time for marching is over, the time for concerted and effective political action has arrived if immigration reform is ever to be achieved.