Political Alliances Forming Through Immigration Reform

Political alliances that some never expected are forming in Congress as a result of immigration reform. According to the Los Angeles Times, the group America’s Voice joined South Carolina senator Lindsay Graham when his fellow party members attacked him for supporting new immigration legislation. The advocacy group then donated $60,000 to Republicans for Immigration Reform.

A number of other alliances are forming between groups that wouldn’t normally find common ground. Liberal Latino organizations and Republican operatives, the Chamber of Commerce and labor unions, and faith groups and high-tech companies are joining together to fight for immigration reform, the source reported. Through these new alliances, lobbyists are trying to convince Republicans in Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S.

Advocates are increasing their targeting of House Republicans during the next couple of months to encourage them to pass immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. Congress hasn’t addressed the issue of immigration since 2007, the Times reported.

“We will see a significant ramp-up of activities in August and September,” said Tom Snyder, who runs the campaign effort for the labor giant AFL-CIO.

For the Republicans who have endorsed comprehensive immigration reform, they’re seeing an increase in positive comments from advocacy groups. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rep. Mike Coffman from Colorado saw $275,000 in positive TV commercials from Americans for a Conservative Direction.

How Immigration Can Pass Congress
Many Democrats are seeing a way that immigration reform can pass the House and Senate to eventually become law, Talking Points Memo reported. Democrats are hoping to establish a House-Senate committee that would require House Republican majority to bring core components of immigration reform to the floor and pass it.

“We would prefer a big comprehensive bill but any way the House can get there is okay by us,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said on CNN.

GOP leaders from the house have already rejected comprehensive immigration reform and said they prefer a piecemeal approach to the issue, something Democrats can agree with as long as legislation includes a pathway to citizenship. One way immigration reform can still pass Congress is through what’s being called the Kids Act, in which children brought to the U.S. illegally can still obtain citizenship. This option is appealing for Republicans who are against giving citizenship to undocumented immigrants.