US & World

SoCal activists seek pope's aid on immigration reform

In this file photo, Pope Francis greets the faithful prior to his first 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica during Easter Mass on March 31, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. A group of Southern California immigration activists arrived in Rome over the weekend and are scheduled to have an audience with the pope on Wednesday in the hope he will bring up the issue when he meets with President Obama the next day.
In this file photo, Pope Francis greets the faithful prior to his first 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica during Easter Mass on March 31, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. A group of Southern California immigration activists arrived in Rome over the weekend and are scheduled to have an audience with the pope on Wednesday in the hope he will bring up the issue when he meets with President Obama the next day.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

About a dozen immigration activists from Southern California who arrived in Rome over the weekend hope to meet with Pope Francis to discuss immigration reform.

The group is scheduled to have an audience with the pope on Wednesday and hope he will bring up the issue when he meets with President Obama the next day.

"We're almost to the point, and I hate to put it this way, where we practically need a miracle if we're going to have immigration reform anytime soon. And what better place for that miracle to start taking form than in the Vatican itself, with the Holy Father — in this case Pope Francis — doing something about it," said Juan Jose Gutierrez is with the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition.

Gutierrez says he hopes the meeting will put pressure on other leaders in the US — like House Speaker John Boehner.

The Senate passed an immigration reform bill last summer that includes a path to citizenship. It hasn't been brought up for a vote in the House of Representatives.