Big Labor Calling Out House GOP on Immigration

Janet Murguia, National Council of la Raza President and CEO, and Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, listen to questions from reporters outside the West Wing after a meeting at the White House February 5, 2013 in Washington,DC. Obama met with labor leaders to talk about immigration reform. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
Elahe Izadi
Nov. 6, 2013, 3:28 p.m.

It turns out that co­spon­sor­ing a com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion-re­form bill isn’t enough for im­mig­ra­tion sup­port­ers.

The AFL-CIO on Wed­nes­day began what it’s dubbed an “es­cal­a­tion” of im­mig­ra­tion-re­lated activ­it­ies, in­ten­ded to push House Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship to put a com­pre­hens­ive re­form bill on the floor. The labor group will also launch in-dis­trict cam­paigns aimed at Re­pub­lic­ans already signed onto the House bill.

“The time for act­ing on im­mig­ra­tion re­form is now and the labor move­ment has de­cided to throw down in a big way to make it hap­pen,” AFL-CIO Pres­id­ent Richard Trumka told re­port­ers Wed­nes­day.

The cam­paign in­cludes a two-week, sev­en-fig­ure ad buy for Span­ish-lan­guage spots in a hand­ful of mar­kets and voter-con­tact pro­grams in nine con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts. Only three House Re­pub­lic­ans have co­sponsored the House’s com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion bill — and two of them are be­ing tar­geted by the AFL-CIO.

“It’s not enough to just throw your name on something. You need to be or­gan­iz­ing your col­leagues in the House,” said Tom Snyder, the AFL-CIO’s im­mig­ra­tion cam­paign man­ager.

“We’re not go­ing to let them off the hook simply be­cause they co­spon­sor; they have to do more. We’ve asked them to pub­licly call out for a vote. Have they done that? No.”

Span­ish-lan­guage ads will run in Den­ver; At­lanta; Or­lando, Fla.; and Bakersfield, Cal­if., which is in House Ma­jor­ity Whip Kev­in Mc­Carthy’s dis­trict. Eng­lish-lan­guage ads, which jux­ta­pose pic­tures of im­mig­rant chil­dren, sol­diers, and fam­il­ies with con­tro­ver­sial state­ments from Rep. Steve King of Iowa, among oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans, will air in the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., area.

Re­pub­lic­an Reps. Dav­id Valadao and Jeff Den­ham of Cali­for­nia will be tar­geted by in-dis­trict mo­bil­iz­a­tions. They both signed onto the com­pre­hens­ive bill in the House, which mir­rors the Sen­ate-passed bill (ex­cept for its bor­der se­cur­ity pro­vi­sion, which is re­placed by a bi­par­tis­an House bor­der bill).

“I have been work­ing with col­leagues on both sides of the aisle to push the dis­cus­sion of im­mig­ra­tion re­form for­ward,” Den­ham said in a state­ment to Na­tion­al Journ­al. “I will con­tin­ue that ef­fort in com­ing weeks and look for­ward to hav­ing a full de­bate with the Amer­ic­an people re­gard­ing this im­port­ant is­sue. My im­me­di­ate goal is to show the speak­er how much sup­port there is for full re­form.”

Valadao spokes­wo­man Anna Vet­ter said in a state­ment that im­mig­ra­tion is a “top pri­or­ity” for the con­gress­man, and re­ferred to the por­tray­al that he hasn’t shown lead­er­ship on the is­sue as “flag­rantly in­ac­cur­ate.”

“Con­gress­man Dav­id G. Valadao will con­tin­ue to work with reas­on­able lead­ers from both parties on the is­sue of im­mig­ra­tion re­form un­til a solu­tion is reached,” she said.

Den­ham and Valadao are both fa­cing com­pet­it­ive races, ac­cord­ing to The Cook Polit­ic­al Re­port.

Oth­er House Re­pub­lic­ans be­ing tar­geted in­clude Reps. Gary Miller and Buck McK­eon of Cali­for­nia, Mike Coff­man and Scott Tipton of Col­or­ado, Steve Pearce of New Mex­ico, Daniel Web­ster of Flor­ida, and Joe Heck of Nevada.

The pres­sure, Snyder said, is in­ten­ded to push for pas­sage of the im­mig­ra­tion bill, rather than for polit­ic­al reas­ons. But if they don’t mo­bil­ize to pass com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form, he said, “they have to un­der­stand that when elec­tion time comes, then we’re pre­pared to make something hap­pen.”

When pressed, Snyder said that that “something” is “to de­feat them.”

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
These (Supposed) Iowa and NH Escorts Tell All
2 hours ago
NATIONAL JOURNAL AFTER DARK

Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:

  • Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
  • Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
  • They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
  • One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
Source:
STATE VS. FEDERAL
Restoring Some Sanity to Encryption
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Hillary Is Running Against the Bill of 1992
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Trevor Noah Needs to Find His Voice. And Fast.
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”

Source:
×