Coalition pushed citizenship for immigration reform

A new coalition made up of a number of prominent human rights and labor groups is urging Congress to feature a “meaningful” path to US citizenship as an aspect of any immigration reform agreement.  The Alliance for Citizenship – which consists of groups like the Service Employees International Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Council of La Raza, is warning lawmakers who oppose the eventual granting of US citizenship that they risk losing the increasing Hispanic vote in years to come.

“Immigration is a galvanizing issue for Hispanics,” says the head of Hispanics civil rights group the National Council of La Raza, Janet Marguia.  “Our role is growing…we want to keep the pressure on to see this through.”

A national campaign has been launched by the coalition which is designed to do precisely that, starting this week with a Spanish radio advertisement that called on Hispanics everywhere to press Congress on the issue of US citizenship.  Hispanic voters overwhelmingly sided with President Obama in his re-election last year, with their support helping him to secure a second term in the Oval Office and as a result the advocates believe they now have a good amount of leverage for their fight.

“The power to make a difference is ours,” the narration of the ad states.  “They heard our voice in November – they’ll hear it again today.”  The campaign comes just days after a leaked draft immigration reform proposal from the White House that would offer undocumented immigrants residency within seven years.