Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Immigration reform advocates are done playing nice with House Republicans.
After holding their fire for years at the urging of the Obama administration, several immigration reform groups now plan to unleash their anger at the right.
A new, more aggressive campaign kicks off Tuesday, when these groups say they will begin confronting Republican lawmakers at public appearances, congressional hearings and events back in home districts. The goal: Shame Republicans in swing districts into taking up the issue — or make them pay at the ballot box in November.
It’s unclear if the strategy will truly damage Republicans with their constituents. Or worse, whether it might backfire and oust some of the movement’s best potential allies across the aisle.
Still, the groups believe it’s time to try something new. The movement embraced a distinctly positive message when Barack Obama took office in 2009 and stuck with it publicly even until last month, when the groups applauded House Republican leaders for releasing a set of immigration reform principles at a GOP winter retreat.
But things changed last week when Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dashed hopes that a major immigration overhaul could happen this year — leaving immigration groups to say enough is enough.
“Obviously, persuasion only got us so far,” Kica Matos, a spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, said Monday. “What we are now doing is to switch tactics from persuasion to punishment.” Read more....