Protests broke out at the offices of more than 25 members of the House of Representatives last Wednesday in response to their lack of action over the issue of immigration reform, despite it now being a year since a comprehensive bipartisan bill was passed by the Senate. The results of these protests were decidedly mixed.
The protesters were demanding that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, ends the stagnation period for the comprehensive immigration reform bill, with crowds gathering at the offices of representatives Mark Amodei and Joe Heck. Although the protest outside the latter’s office resulted in five demonstrators being arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges after they refused to leave, Amodei at least seemed to be considerably more receptive to the crowd.
Amodei was in a meeting when the protesters arrived at his office; nonetheless, he invited them in and met with them after his prior engagement had concluded. Amodei spoke briefly with the demonstrators and promised that he intended to speak to Boehner about the issue this week. The Ohio Republican is vital to the immigration bill getting a floor vote, and reform advocates have heavily criticized him for his refusal to take a stand.
Amodei says that he feels Republicans are starting to come around to the idea. “I’m hopeful,” he told the Reno Gazette Journal. “My sense – and I could be wrong about this – but I think there are 165 to 180 people in the Republican conference that will be open-minded to this and support it.”