With President Obama admitting this week that passage of the immigration reform bill won’t make it out of Congress by August, eyes will turn to immigration issue organization on both sides of the debate to mobilize during the remaining part of the summer.
According to an Associated Press report published yesterday, supporters of immigration reform plan to use the August recess to push congressional members into action. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) said, “August is a month in which either legislative proposals die, or they survive.” Menendez explained that supporters of reform need to keep up their advocacy to push the House into action in the fall.
Currently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting GOP House members who voted for an amendment to deport DREAM Act eligible youth. The Service Employees International Union also has a Spanish language ad campaign that focuses on congressional districts that are currently represented by Republicans but have a sizable portion of Latinos. And even a free-market, non-partisan group, the Libre Intitiative, is airing Spanish language ads that highlight the positive impacts of immigration from the perspective of economic freedom and achieving the American dream.
The anti-immigration reform bill folks will also continue their push in August. This week there was the D.C. March for Jobs which was promoted by the Black American Leadership Alliance, a new group that is protesting the immigration bill that passed the Senate. Anti-immigration groups will also likely mobilize at events that congressional representatives will hold in their home districts.
Four years ago at town hall meetings across the country, the debate surrounding the health care bill became heated. The type of organizing that we saw then could occur with the immigration bill, but polling indicates that support for immigration reform is still strong among American voters so it’s going to be interesting to see which who comes out more forcefully to communicate with their representatives as the fall approaches.