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Strong Momentum as Pro-immigration Forces Sweep into August Recess

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While Anti-Immigrant Forces Will Make Some Noise, In-District Action to be Driven by Pro-Reform Majority

Ahead of the impending August recess, pro-immigration forces are on the move with hundreds of grassroots events planned from coast to coast. A number of media outlets today highlight the momentum, unprecedented organization, and breadth of support on behalf of immigration reform with a path to citizenship.  From business and tech groups to labor and faith organizations; Republican donors and conservative strategists to immigration advocates and the labor movement, it is clear that key House targets will feel the urgency behind scheduling a vote on a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans this fall.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

The movement on behalf of immigration reform has never had such breadth of support or been as organized to make our presence felt in key districts.  While the other side will undoubtedly turn out their usual small but vocal contingent of anti-immigrant diehards, they simply don’t have the backing of the public or the breadth of support like the movement in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

Key highlights include:

  • Politico, Immigration Groups to Target House GOP: “Outside groups plan to target more than 100 House Republicans over the August recess with an aggressive ground game aimed at persuading lawmakers to embrace immigration reform…The unusually coordinated effort to win the recess includes a major grass-tops initiative by pro-reform groups like American Action Network, the Partnership for a New American Economy, Republicans for Immigration Reform and others to connect local business leaders, mayors, pastors and activists with GOP lawmakers on their home turf.”
  • Bloomberg, Immigration Supporters Plan to Hunt Down House Members: “Advocates of immigration-law changes are prepared to track down lawmakers doing household chores during the month-long congressional break that begins next week if that’s what it takes to get their voices heard.  “If you have a town hall or if you don’t, we’re going to find you in the grocery store because this is it. We’ve never been this close,” Representative Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat and one of the chief immigration negotiators in the House of Representatives, said in an interview yesterday.
  • Wall Street Journal, Businesses, GOP Donors Press for Immigration Overhaul: “Two groups influential in the GOP—businesses and campaign contributors—separately urged members of Congress on Tuesday to line up behind an immigration overhaul. Advocates have long hoped that these voices would help sway rank-and-file Republicans to support the legislation.  The letters come as members of Congress prepare to spend much of August at home in their districts, where people on both sides of the debate are expected to make their voices heard…In its letter, 428 separate business groups and companies urged action, saying it was vital to help the U.S. economy grow. ‘Reform of an outdated, broken immigration system is essential if we are to achieve a fully revitalized economy that provides rewarding and lasting jobs and opportunities for all Americans,’ they wrote…The letter was sent to all House members by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Separately, Republicans for Immigration Reform sent a letter signed by 102 donors to House Republicans making an overtly political argument for action.  ‘Standing in the way of reform ensures that we … risk a long-lasting perception that Republicans would rather see nothing done than pass needed reform. That is not the path for the Republican Party.’”
  • Associated Press, Businesses Call for Actions on Immigration: “Hundreds of leading business groups and GOP donors called for action on immigration legislation Tuesday, seeking to increase pressure on the House GOP as lawmakers prepare to leave Washington for a five-week summer recess.  Two letters were released separately, one signed by more than 400 leading businesses, chambers of commerce and others, and the second by around 100 GOP donors, including boldface names such as former Vice President Dan Quayle and GOP strategist Karl Rove.  Both sought to frame the immigration debate partly in economic terms that could sway majority House Republicans, who are debating how to move forward with immigration legislation after the Senate passed a comprehensive bill in June with visa reforms, border security and eventual citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.”
  • BuzzFeed: Immigration Reform Activists Prepare Major August Blitz For Republican Support: “Fence-sitting House Republicans beware: Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform are coming for you during the August Congressional recess, planning hundreds of events and spending more than a million dollars on ads, all designed to bring you into the fold.  Immigration organizations, evangelical Christian groups, the business community, and big labor are all plotting a month-long push, aimed at turning the tide in the House towards finally reforming the nation’s immigration laws.”
  • The Hill: Industry Groups Join Together to Pressure House on Immigration: “Facebook, Google, IBM and Cisco joined a coalition of roughly 400 organizations from various industries on Tuesday to call for the House to overhaul the country’s immigration laws.   The tech companies were joined by Hilton, General Electric, AT&T and a range of organizations that represent the agriculture, housing, hospitality and retail industries in sending the pro-immigration reform letter to House leaders John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The groups urged the House leaders to ‘not let this momentum slip and progress vanish’ on immigration legislation.  The letter from the broad swath of U.S. industries is intended to pressure the House to keep up its work on immigration as lawmakers prepare to head back to their home districts for the August recess.”