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House Democrats Target 30 Key Republicans for Immigration Reform, Discharge Petition

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This morning, House Democrats announced a new strategy to target 30 key Republicans on immigration reform, pushing them to support the discharge petition and bring HR 15 to a vote.  The Democrats will distribute member-specific memos — available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin — to districts represented by Republicans who have said they support immigration reform, yet have done nothing to prod the issue forward in Congress.

As Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) said today, pointing out that enough votes in the House exist for immigration legislation to succeed: “We are providing yet another way through this memo and challenge to simply bring the bill to the floor, where it will pass.”

The 30 Republicans targeted are Reps. Don Young (AK-AL), Chris Stewart (UT-2), Sean Duffy (WI-7), Spencer Bachus (AL-6), Jeff Denham (CA-10), David Valadao (CA-21), Greg Walden (OR-2), Paul Ryan (WI-1), Michael Grimm (NY-11), Darrell Issa (CA-49), Mark Amodei (NV-2), Mike Coffman (CO-6), James Lankford (OK-5), Mike Kelly (PA-3), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Devin Nunes (CA-22), Jason Chaffetz (UT-3), Joe Heck (NV-3), Peter King (NY-2), Raul Labrador (ID-1), Sam Johnson (TX-3), John Carter (TX-31), Daniel Webster (FL-10), Aaron Schock (IL-18), Steve Pearce (NM-2), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Justin Amash (MI-3), Vance McAllister (LA-5), Renee Ellmers (NC-2).  In a recently-released scorecard, America’s Voice graded a number of these members on anti-immigrant votes that they’ve taken in this Congress, and scored them here.

Below is one version of the 30 memos Democrats are sending to Republican districts:

MEMO: It’s Time for Rep. Mike Coffman to Walk the Walk on Immigration Reform


To:      Interested Parties

Fr:       Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL), Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) – chief sponsors of H.R. 15, bipartisan immigration reform

Dt:       Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RE:     It’s Time for Rep. Mike Coffman to Walk the Walk on Immigration Reform

“I think a comprehensive approach [to immigration reform] is long overdue…And I’m confident that the President, myself, and others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all,” Speaker Boehner said in 2012.  We – and the majority of Americans – couldn’t agree with the Speaker more but, to date, he and the Republican leadership have not lived up to their words.  But it’s not too late.

Recently, House Democrats launched a #DemandAVote discharge petition to bring H.R. 15, a bipartisan immigration reform bill, to the floor for a vote.  We know we have the votes to pass immigration reform in the House: 200 Members, including 3 Republicans cosponsored H.R. 15, and another 30 Republicans, including Rep. Mike Coffman, have come out in favor of reform.

The Denver Post wrote: “Coffman believes comprehensive immigration reform…needs to happen. Then, when it has been proven the border is secure a pathway to apply for legal citizenship should be opened for all undocumented people.”

Mike Coffman has expressed support for immigration reform in the past, including a pathway to citizenship.  Now we need him to join us to finish the job.

The 180,000 people living in the shadows – unable to fully contribute to this great state and our nation – deserve better than Congressional inaction.  Failure is not just an affront to our values as a nation of immigrants, it also costs the state economy of Colorado to the tune of$681 million in additional tax revenues and 2,300 new jobs annually.

Americans across the country are overwhelmingly calling for action on immigration reform.  According to a public opinion poll, 79 percent of voters surveyed nationwide said they support comprehensive immigration reform.  Newspaper editorials nationwide are fed up with the stalling and the excuses.  Over 600 businesses, including the Chamber of Commerce, and religious leaders have called for immediate action.  And most recently, agriculture groups have grown frustrated with the House GOP’s failure to act on reform.

H.R. 15 will secure our borders, unite our families, protect our workers, provide an earned pathway to citizenship, and reduce the deficit by nearly $1 trillion.

The time to act is now.  The votes are there and the means to bring immediate action – the discharge petition – exists.  It just needs Mike Coffman’s support.  We are counting on Rep. Mike Coffman to be courageous, take action, and live up to his promise.

It has been more than 275 days since the Senate passed its bipartisan immigration reform.  Now is the time for Rep. Mike Coffman to sign the discharge petition and demonstrate to the American people and the thousands living in Colorado that he wants to see the House of Representatives do the same.  It is time to fix our broken immigration system and restore our American values.