Latino groups band together to pressure Congress on immigration reform

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, a coalition of Latino organizations that work on issues like immigration reform, voter registration, and education and legislative policy issued a report card that graded both chambers of Congress on how they performed on immigration issues in 2013.

The Senate received a passing grade, getting a green check mark for its passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill over the summer. The House was given an “I” for incomplete after it failed to follow up on the Senate’s success.

Putting Congress on notice
By issuing this report card, these Latino groups are letting members of Congress know that they will be graded on their votes on immigration issues in much the same way the National Rifle Association grades them on gun issues. That effort has been incredibly successful for the NRA over the years, and this new coalition is hoping to develop a similar level of clout on Capitol Hill.

The Latino coalition is also taking another tactic from the playbook of a right wing group that holds a lot of sway over Congress – Americans for Tax Reform. That organization’s founder, Grover Norquist, gained a lot of fame when he got hundreds of lawmakers across the country to sign a pledge that they would never vote to raise taxes. Similarly, these Latino groups will be passing out pledge cards to members of the House that, if signed, would declare their commitment to immigration reform.

Organizations involved
According to the Digital Journal, the organizations involved in the report card and pledge drive include National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, NALEO Educational Fund, and Voto Latino.

They hope that by banding together, their collective pressure will be able to bring about change in a quicker, more efficient manner.