National and California Immigration Advocates, Labor Leaders and Pollsters Available to Comment on the McCarthy Leadership Election
In the wake of the House Leadership election yesterday and Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to House Majority Leader, California–based immigration advocates, labor leaders and pollsters are weighing in on what this means for the future of immigration reform as well as the political prospects for the GOP.
Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA); Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; Arturo Rodriguez, President of United Farm Workers; Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies at Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions; and Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice are all available for comment.
Following are statements from the above spokespeople reacting to yesterday’s news:
Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA):
Mr. McCarthy is the newly-minted House Majority Leader, but above all, he’s a Californian. As the people’s representative from the state with the largest immigrant community, Mr. McCarthy can no longer run away from acting on policies such as immigration reform that are certain to bring great benefits our state and our nation. As a member of a party in urgent need of redemption in California, Mr. McCarthy must lead with the full understanding that inaction on immigration reform will further damage his own credibility and any Republican chances of winning immigrant and Latino voters in the foreseeable future. The status quo of pushing the can down the road will only lead Mr. McCarthy and the GOP the Cantor Way in the Golden State.
Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO:
This past year alone, thousands have marched on Congressman McCarthy’s office demanding a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, there has been no progress or action. Now more than ever, McCarthy has an opportunity to step up and be a leader. Eric Cantor’s recent loss showed the cost of inaction.
Arturo Rodriguez, President of United Farm Workers:
As the leader in charge of determining the House agenda, Kevin McCarthy has the power to move immigration legislation that the nation and his district both want. Either he leads and schedules a vote on immigration and demonstrates he’s capable of leading his constituents and his party; or he squanders the opportunity, blocks a vote on legislation that the nation and his district support, and fails to deliver desperately needed reform to the San Joaquin Valley and our country. With the window for legislation quickly closing, Congressman McCarthy needs to act fast. How and when he acts will tell us if Congressman McCarthy is serious about using his new power to fix his district’s and our nation’s biggest problems.
Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions:
The election of Kevin McCarthy, while widely expected, is an opportunity for reasonable heads to get together and move immigration reform forward, for the good of the country and the individuals affected. GOP inaction on immigration reform is already causing chaos–in the economy, in the fields of American farms, and in the lives of too many children–and has the potential to make that party a regional footnote in presidential elections. McCarthy’s election is a moment–a rare moment–when the Speaker and his new right-hand-man can reevaluate the destructive path that so characterized the Cantor leadership.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
As soon as he’s elected, Rep. Kevin McCarthy will face his first test: to schedule a vote on immigration reform, or not. To move the GOP and the country forward, or help craft the Party’s obituary for 2016. If McCarthy wants to do for the national Republican Party what Pete Wilson did for the GOP in California, he will continue to side with Rep. Steve King and put off a vote on reasonable immigration reform. If he wants to move the Party forward, and ensure its competitiveness in future national elections, he’ll do the opposite. We’ll know when he publishes the July legislative agenda which path McCarthy is going to choose.
For recordings and resources from prior Office Hours calls, click here.
358 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 6 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes