Republicans Increase Support for Immigration Reform

Earlier in August, the Republican National Committee vowed to maintain its pressure on Congress to create and pass immigration reform legislation by the end of 2013. According to Time magazine, this legislation includes creating a new legal status for those immigrants living in the country illegally who were brought to the United States as children, building a border fence and enhancing efforts to patrol the area.

“It’s disappointing that the RNC has yet again come out against commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship,” Michael Czin, DNC press secretary, said in a statement. “Data shows that a path to citizenship will boost the GDP, increase total income for all Americans and generate more revenue for both states and the federal government.”

To gain support, pro-immigration reform groups are using rallies and town hall meetings to show on-the-fence House Republicans that the residents in their districts support the legislation. At a recent Wisconsin town hall meeting, Rep. Paul Ryan noted that in October, the House of Representatives will vote on immigration reform. The fact that Ryan has spoken publicly on this issue will allow leaders of the Republican Party to gain Democratic support of the bill, Fox News reported. However, the vote does not mean that House Republicans will change their stance on providing amnesty for illegal immigrants.

As the House currently stands, 218 votes will be needed to pass a bill. According to Fox News, Rep. Luis Gutierrez estimated that 195 Democrats will vote in favor of the legislation, meaning the bill will only need 23 Republican votes to pass. As the rallies are targeting 50 Republicans, many are hopeful that the bill will get the support it needs.

“I am optimistic,” Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said in an interview with Fox News Latino. “None of us ever believed it was going to be easy. This isn’t about it being easy … [but] we now have strong bipartisan support.”