On Saturday, the Iowa Minute-men held their “eighth annual illegal immigration forum and rally” in Des Moines, where barely a dozen people showed up to protest. Watch the video from a local NBC affiliate below:
Problems with low turnout have plagued opponents of immigration reform all year, thanks to disinterest and disunity on the issue among conservatives.
In contrast, the Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana held a vigil in Fort Wayne (hardly a major bastion for immigrants) on Sunday, and more than 600 people showed up. That event is only the latest in a series of thousands of demonstrations and rallies across the country this year calling for action on immigration reform.
The support on the ground matches the situation in the House of Representatives, where immigration reform is awaiting a vote. More than 200 Democrats and at least 26 Republicans support reform with a path to citizenship--more than the number necessary to pass a bill through the House. Yet Speaker Boehner won’t allow a vote until a majority of his conference–at least 116 Republicans–agree to go along.
And that, folks, is why we haven’t yet passed the kind of immigration reform legislation that 88% of Americans support–because Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans are scared of their Tea Party wing, even though it’s basically 12 guys in lawn chairs at the Iowa state capitol.