The following is a press release from United Farm Workers and the Alliance for Citizenship:
While Some Republicans Agreed to Call on Boehner to Schedule a Vote, Others Called the Cops, Kicking Immigrant Families and Constituents Out
Yesterday, the pro-reform movement came out in full force to remind key House Republicans of what’s at stake should they fail to schedule a vote on real comprehensive immigration reform before the legislative window closes. Targeting a total of 22 Republicans, immigrant families and local activists held civil disobedience occupations and rallies at 28 different offices from coast to coast.
According to Arturo Rodriguez, President of United Farm Workers, “Republicans can duck and dodge immigration reform as much as they’d like, but they’ll never escape the ever growing and strengthening pro-reform movement. Republicans can come on board with us now and do what the majority of the House and Americans support and pass immigration reform before the window for action closes, or they can continue blocking our efforts, cede the initiative to President Obama and kiss the White House—and eventually Congress—goodbye for good. Reform is inevitable. Either House Republicans can do it now when they’re in the majority or later when they’re in the minority. That’s the question they’re facing.”
Many Republicans responded positively to the actions yesterday, including Reps. David Valadao (R-CA), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Doc Hastings (R-WA) who met with or had their staff meet with advocates and agreed to calling on Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to schedule a vote. Others like Reps. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Daniel Webster (R-FL) met with or agreed to future meetings with advocates.
Some Republicans went to great lengths to remind local advocates that they remain beholden to the hateful extremist caucus. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and Rep. George Holding (R-NC) all called the local police and had numerous advocates arrested. Rep. Heck even tweeted that he “will not be bullied into amnesty.”
Despite the arrests and confrontations with staff inside, the real energy and power of the movement was felt outside, where local advocates and immigrant families held signs and performed coordinated chants calling on their local Representatives to take leadership in making immigration reform a reality. See a full rundown of photos and tweets from yesterday here.
Added Sue Chinn, National Campaign Manager for the Alliance for Citizenship, “Our movement is unstoppable! We marched, we rallied, we protested, we occupied, we risked arrest and we made sure our voices were heard. The longer House Republicans delay a vote on immigration reform, the worse the consequences for the economy, the country, and also, the GOP. We hope Speaker Boehner breaks free from the reign of the extremist few in his caucus before the legislative window closes, but until he steps up and shows real leadership, we, and the growing swaths of Latino, Asian Pacific Islander American and immigrant voters, are prepared to hold the entire Party accountable for their inaction on this urgent issue.”
View a yesterday’s full list of events and targets HERE.