Ellison works for immigration

Rep. Keith Ellison spoke Monday at City Hall about immigration reform.

Alexandria Chhith

The U.S. Congressman representing the district covering the University of Minnesota is looking for bipartisan immigration reform.

Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, said at Minneapolis City Hall on Monday that he hopes the Republicans and Democrats will come together on immigration reform.

“Gamesmanship between the two parties has prevented bipartisan solutions,” said Anand Balasubrahmanyan, a spokesman at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota who helped host the event.

Ellison is encouraging bipartisan reform to show the public that opposing political parties can agree, despite recent conflicts, Balasubrahmanyan said.

He said Congress lost trust after the month’s partial government shutdown, which ended Thursday after a tense standoff over the federal budget and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Earlier this month, Ellison was arrested on the National Mall for obstructing a street during an immigration reform protest.

The U.S. Senate passed immigration legislation last summer with bipartisan support. Political science assistant professor Ryan Allen said Ellison’s arrest brought light to the issue but may not lead to a solution.

Katherine Fennelly, a political science professor at the University, said the House of Representatives would likely pass reforms if Speaker John Boehner introduced them. However, she said there are “no signs” of that happening.

Rev. James Wilson, who spoke at the event Monday, said reform would benefit Minnesota’s immigrants by simplifying the process of gaining citizenship.