How Everyone Is Trying to Sway the Immigration Debate

Immigration reform advocates support an American flag while taking part in a National Day of Dignity and Respect march on October 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of people marched for comprehensive immigration reform in more than 150 events nationwide.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Elahe Izad
Jan. 31, 2014, 7:35 a.m.

House Re­pub­lic­ans aren’t even con­sid­er­ing an ac­tu­al im­mig­ra­tion re­form bill — just a one-page doc­u­ment with a bunch of some­what vague prin­ciples — and already folks on all sides are shower­ing law­makers with memos to sway opin­ion.

Alabama’s Sen. Jeff Ses­sions, an out­spoken crit­ic of the Sen­ate’s com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion bill, has been work­ing be­hind the scenes to dis­cour­age his Re­pub­lic­an coun­ter­parts in the House from tack­ling re­form. He dis­trib­uted a memo to fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans be­fore the House GOP re­treat this week. It de­clares that “Re­pub­lic­ans must end the law­less­ness — not sur­render to it.” The 30-page doc­u­ment has a “fact vs. myth” sec­tion and in­cludes “ob­ject­ive polling data — not mis­lead­ing polls from spe­cial in­terests.”

Those want­ing re­form have been passing out their own memos. FWD.us, the pro-im­mig­ra­tion re­form group backed by Face­book founder Mark Zuck­er­berg, has sent a doc­u­ment to all House Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing those huddled at their an­nu­al re­treat, a FWD.us spokes­man con­firms. And that memo slams some groups as “anti-im­mig­rant” that are “re­flex­ively op­posed to any at­tempt to fix our broken im­mig­ra­tion sys­tem.” It refers to “hate­ful rhet­or­ic, ex­treme views, and blatant false­hoods.”

“We’re en­cour­aged that House Re­pub­lic­ans have put forth draft prin­ciples to guide their ap­proach to im­mig­ra­tion re­form and want to make sure all mem­bers have polling, re­search, and rel­ev­ant re­sources in the com­ing weeks as they work to craft le­gis­la­tion,” the FWD.us spokes­man said in a state­ment. “Rel­ev­ant re­sources in­cludes fac­tu­al in­form­a­tion that many of these mem­bers may not have about the ori­gins and real mo­tiv­a­tions of some of the loudest anti-im­mig­rant groups.”

FWD.us was foun­ded in 2013 in an ef­fort to bol­ster the pro­spects of com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form, and it spent $600,000 on lob­by­ing.

While out­side groups and even sen­at­ors will have a meas­ure of in­flu­ence over what mem­bers in the House end up do­ing on im­mig­ra­tion re­form, they’re not the ones ac­tu­ally cast­ing the votes. Per­haps the most telling sig­nal of the up­com­ing House de­bate can be found in the re­ac­tions to the GOP draft prin­ciples from mem­bers of House Demo­crat­ic lead­er­ship. Simply put, they’re not shut­ting the door on Re­pub­lic­ans. 

House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi said her caucus “wel­comes” the re­lease of their draft, which ex­cludes a path­way to cit­izen­ship and in­stead calls for leg­al­iz­a­tion. “As Re­pub­lic­ans un­veil more spe­cif­ics of their le­gis­la­tion, we hope we can find com­mon ground with our Demo­crat­ic prin­ciples — to se­cure our bor­ders, pro­tect our work­ers, unite our fam­il­ies, and provide an earned path­way to cit­izen­ship,” she said.

So, sure, they have their dif­fer­ences, but Pelosi’s re­marks are a world away from those of people like AFL-CIO Pres­id­ent Richard Trumka, who called the draft “a flimsy doc­u­ment that only serves to un­der­score the cal­lous at­ti­tude Re­pub­lic­ans have to­ward our na­tion’s im­mig­rants.”

What We're Following See More »
NEW FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT
24 Individuals Report Health Affects from Attacks in Cuba
8 minutes ago
THE LATEST
HUSBAND “AN UNBELIEVABLE HERO”
Listen: Soldier’s Widow Shares Video of Her Call with Trump
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Natasha De Alencar, widow of Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, shared a video her daughter took of a phone call she received from President Trump following the death of her husband. "Trump opened by saying how sorry he is about the 'whole situation,' before adding that De Alencar’s husband was 'an unbelievable hero.' ... Later in the call, Trump invited De Alencar to the White House, telling her, 'If you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office.'"

Source:
MANY ARE PUZZLED
Robert Mugabe Appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The new head of the World Health Organization has named Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador for the agency, a move that has startled public health experts...A number of organizations that attended the" Montevideo conference where the appointment was announced "said in a statement after the announcement that they could not recognize Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador."

Source:
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
CAN LIKELY MOVE THROUGH THE HOUSE WITHOUT CONFERENCE
Senate Passes Budget Bill
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Senate approved the Republican-proposed budget Thursday night, a major step forward for the GOP effort to enact tax cuts. The budget, which now moves to the House, is projected to expand the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Its passage will allow the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes, removing the need for support from Democratic senators."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login