A project of the Center for Community Change

Nation’s Largest Immigration Coalition Moving Into New Phase of Electoral Punishment for GOP Inaction

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014
Contact: Ricardo A. Ramírez, rramirez@campaignforcommunities.org; 202-339-9371

WASHINGTON— The nation’s largest immigration coalition—the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)—announced today it will step up its efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform by moving into a phase of electoral punishment for GOP inaction.

“Our actions last year were more about trying to persuade Republicans, especially House members, to join the growing chorus of Americans who support humane and compassionate immigration reform,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “Persuasion only got us so far. From now on, any lawmaker who does not support comprehensive immigration reform should expect relentless and constant confrontations that will escalate until they agree to support immigration reform.”

Matos cited a report circulated last year that shows many congressional districts have a huge number of naturalized immigrants and young Asians and Latinos who can vote, and who deeply support immigration reform, adding that GOP failure to act on reform could eventually cost them over 100 seats.

The escalations will impact all GOP districts because the movement has over 1.5 million supporters online and coalition members in 30 states.  However, we will have deep programs on over 20 targets.

Here are some of the lawmakers FIRM will focus on: the open seat of California Rep. Buck McKeon, and Rep. Gary Miller of California; Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado; Rep. Daniel Webster in Florida; Rep.  Joe Heck in Nevada; Rep. Steve Pearce in New Mexico; Reps. Michael Grimm and Chris Gibson in New York; Rep. Frank Wolf in Virginia, and; Rep. Steve King in Iowa. FIRM will also target the special election for Rep. Bill Young’s seat in Florida.

Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA in Action, said Speaker Boehner made a colossal mistake in choosing to be a follower rather than a leader.

“Speaker Boehner has followed his caucus into what he admits was a suicide mission of shutting down the government last fall,” Torres said. “He is making the same mistake in following the anti-brown, anti-immigrant extremists of his party down a path that blocks immigration reform. Family separation will go down in history as one of the most shameful policies in American history.”

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said he believes comprehensive reform is inevitable.

“If Republicans don’t pass it, the President will act,” Sharry said. “And we will fight until we get a Congress that will pass the permanent reform that the vast majority of Americans want.”

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