As Republicans in the House of Representatives prepare for a closed-door meeting about the issue of immigration reform on July 10th, immigrant rights group members are putting the pressure on the House to pass the package for comprehensive reform before the congressional recess on August 2nd.
The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) is a national coalition comprising of 30 immigrant rights groups, and their members say that they are getting ready to mobilize an aggressive campaign to make sure that any immigration legislation approved by the House of Representatives will include a provision that offers a pathway to US citizenship. They intend to contact members of the House, sponsor radio adverts and send their supporters news alerts, as well as engaging in town hall discussions, robocalls and polling.
There are only 38 Republicans who hold seats in districts that have a strong Latino demographic. Carlos Duarte from Mi Familia Vota-Texas says that his group has been disappointed by Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornwyn claiming to having made a mistake by not supporting the path to citizenship. “For our families, immigration reform is not political football,” says the Center for Community Change’s Executive Director, Deepak Bhargava.
Activists say that Republicans simply cannot afford to ignore the issue of immigration reform and Bhargava warns that House Republicans who believe they are “untouchable” no matter what they do will be in for a shock if they try to stop it. “For the GOP, the day of reckoning is not in the far off future,” he says.