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The Drumbeat for Immigration Reform and Citizenship Continues

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Continuing in the news today is the drumbeat of how 2013 will be the year for immigration reform.  After all, Americans want it, Democrats have promised it, and Republicans need it.  Politico’s piece today, entitled “Immigration waits in the wings,” gives an update for the plans being made to advance immigration reform:

President Barack Obama promised top Latino leaders on a conference call Tuesday afternoon that once a deal is reached on the fiscal cliff, the focus of the call, he’ll throw the full force of the White House behind overhauling the country’s immigration laws.

Top Obama aides are already laying the groundwork for a campaign-style operation to broaden the base of support for a mega-bill.

The White House will not only target Latino voters but also religious leaders, law enforcement and others, according to sources familiar with the administration’s thinking. Officials have met in recent weeks with prominent Hispanic activists like Henry Muñoz on the issue of immigration reform.

Latino leaders say the activity is a clear sign that Obama plans to keep his word and make immigration a signature policy of his second term — an unsurprising move after the Hispanic vote turned out in record numbers to propel the president to victory this fall.

There’s more from another Politico article, “President Obama’s next historic act: immigration,” by Roger Simon:

According to sources, the White House feels it now has a win-win situation on immigration: The Republicans go along with what the White House wants (which would be a Democratic win) or face the prospect of alienating Hispanic voters even further and losing seats in 2014 (which would also be a Democratic win)…

Obama believes the power of the Hispanic vote has never been more evident and that gives him enormous clout in getting immigration reform passed.

The Republicans are not shattered as a party, but they are worried about their future and they can see the handwriting on the wall. It’s written in Spanish.

And by the way, immigration reform means citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants here without papers.  As the Wall Street Journal quoted our Executive Director, Frank Sharry:

Given their political momentum, immigration advocates aren’t giving any ground. “Our movement has been very clear: the centerpiece of broad reform is citizenship,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, an immigration advocacy group. He added that Republicans aren’t going to successfully confront their political problem if they oppose citizenship.

“A big part of the imperative for Republicans to do this is to rip the Band-Aid off and put the issue behind them,” he said. He added that Republicans run the risk of reinforcing a negative image among Hispanic voters if they hold out for a compromise that provides less than full citizenship.