Today, in a conference call with reporters, immigration reform leaders and allies reviewed Immigration Reform Summer’s August recess events and discussed what’s next for immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Moderated by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, today’s call featured Tom Snyder, Campaign Manager for the AFL-CIO’s Citizenship Now campaign; Eddie Carmona, Immigration Campaign Manager, PICO National Network; and Jeremy Robbins, Director of the Partnership for a New American Economy. Today’s call exemplified the diversity, breadth, depth and power of the immigration reform movement. Following a successful August recess, the movement is gearing up for a powerful fall.
Earlier this August, PICO launched a 21 day and 285-mile pilgrimage for immigration reform in California. What began in Sacramento will end in House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) district next week as the pilgrimage prepares to make its final stop in Bakersfield on Monday. Said Eddie Carmona, Immigration Campaign Manager for the PICO National Network, “The summer for recess has been really impactful for us, everywhere from Florida to New Mexico to the cornerstone of the pilgrimage here in California. The energy in the field, in our communities it’s still here and it’s growing. We won’t let up until all our members of Congress get on board to support citizenship for the 11 million and we’ll continue to organize and mobilize until Congress acts on immigration.”
“The conventional wisdom suggested that August would be the toughest month for immigration reform,” said Jeremy Robbins, Director of the Partnership for a New American Economy. “But instead, August has shown that immigration advocates are better organized, better coordinated, and speaking with a louder voice than ever before. And Congress is hearing their message over and over again.”
The last week of August recess comes to a strong end with successful events across the country, organized by a broad coalition of allies including faith, business leaders, labor, immigration advocates, dreamers and others. As members return to Washington, D.C. next week, the immigration reform movement will continue to put pressure on Republican Leadership to give us a vote on a path to citizenship.
Tom Snyder, Campaign Manager for the AFL-CIO’s Citizenship Now campaign said, “After a very active month communicating our views to members of Congress in their districts, we expect the House to act this Fall on creating a path to citizenship with strong worker protections. We know a majority in the House already exists for this if only the Speaker would let the majority rule. If Republicans fail to act, or cynically engage in a blame game, we plan to exact a stiff price by registering and turning out record numbers of immigrant voters in 2014 and 2016.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice said, “The House Republicans either get immigration reform done or they get blamed for blocking it. It’s as simple as that. There’s an existing majority in the House right now that would vote for immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and if Republicans think they have an out because of them they are sorely mistaken. They don’t have an out. The political, economic, and moral consequences of failing to do reform will clearly be laid at the feet of the GOP House leadership and the Republican Party as a whole.”
For a recording of today’s call, click here.
To keep tabs on Republican House Members who have come out for a path to citizenship, follow the America’s Voice blog here.