The pressure to produce some sort of tangible result concerning immigration reform continues to mount against the Republican Party. On May 12, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, visited a group of business leaders and professionals in Texas as a guest speaker for the San Antonio Chambers and IBC Bank-sponsored event San Antonio Conversations. Although the meeting was supposed to revolve around economic issues and bolster support for Boehner’s reelection campaign, the speaker was still asked about his stance on immigration reform.
According to Boehner, the whole structure of immigration laws is flawed and unable to meet the demands of the growing number of people seeking U.S. citizenship. He supports the overhauling of immigration reform in steps and has promised to work with his Republican colleagues to make comprehensive immigration laws a reality.
“A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk,” Boehner said at the event. “This is not about politics. It’s not about elections. It’s about doing the right thing for the American people, and doing the right thing for the country.”
While Boehner spoke with members of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the North and South San Antonio Chambers of Commerce, activists stood outside of the hotel where the event took place. Groups like the Bexar County Young Tejano Democrats, the League of United Latino American Citizens and the Brown Berets rallied for more than an hour, demanding Boehner and all members of Congress take decisive steps toward comprehensive immigration reform. Activist Jaime Martinez, a long-time supporter of immigrant rights, believes that Boehner has the power to bring the Republican Party together.
“I will present an open letter to the speaker to do the right thing for the 11 million hardworking immigrants and get this done before Congress leaves for the summer,” Martinez said during the rally.