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71: Why Immigration Reform Will Pass in 2013

by Pili Tobar on 02/20/2013 at 4:46pm

chuck toddOn MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd reiterated his optimism that immigration reform will pass this year.  Said Todd, “Just one number you need to know: 71.  That was the percentage of Hispanics that Obama won…It’s gonna happen.”

Whether one relies on the 71% figure from the network exit polls or the 75% figure from the Latino Decisions’ Election Eve poll, the implications are clear: Latino voters turned away from the Republican Party in 2012 in large part because of immigration.

Meanwhile, our friends on cable TV can’t get enough of the ramblings of a few cranks at the town hall events of Senator John McCain (R-AZ).  We get it.  Anti-immigrant screeds at town halls will always be catnip to TV producers.  But it’s worth pointing out that instead of pandering to a few loudmouths, McCain is standing up to them.  Why is he doing so?  As McCain himself says, “elections, elections.”

Meanwhile, the immigration reform push gets stronger by the day.  Yesterday was the official launch of Alliance for Citizenship, the new campaign comprised of labor, civil rights, community, immigrant and faith-based organizations seeking to win citizenship for 11 million immigrants in 2013.  As Julia Preston of the New York Times writes in an article titled, “Coalition to Apply Election Strength to Immigration Debate,” the “groups said they would hold a series of street rallies in coming weeks, especially in states of the eight senators in the bipartisan group, leading up to a major rally in Washington on April 10. On Feb. 25, the groups will begin a national bus tour that will travel to 19 states. The service employees union will run a $250,000 Spanish-language radio ad this weekend in major markets in 25 states.”

Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) noted about the new radio ad campaign:

The message to Congress in the ad is very simple: The critical voices of Latinos who helped deliver a mandate for commonsense immigration reform in November’s election are going to keep raising their voices as Congress begins the debate.  Latinos did not go to the polls expecting that our ‘abuelitas’ our grandmothers, our parents, brothers and sisters and our coworkers would be relegated to second-class status. We expect Congress to pass a bill that includes a fair, clear and direct path to citizenship.

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