Over a Thousand Rallied Outside of the U.S. Capitol During House GOP Caucus Meeting, Urging a Vote for Citizenship

Over a Thousand Rallied Outside of the U.S. Capitol During House GOP Caucus Meeting, Urging a Vote for Citizenship

WASHINGTON, DC – More than a thousand immigration advocates, including hundreds of families and aspiring Americans, rallied outside of the House GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol today, urging leaders to answer mainstream America’s call for an immediate and commonsense solution to the country’s broken immigration system. Just two weeks ago, bipartisan immigration reform legislation passed the U.S. Senate with a super-majority vote.

“Republicans in the House can show leadership that unites us as a country by passing immigration reform with a realistic path to citizenship,” said Jaime Contreras, Vice President and Capital Area District Director for 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “This is a chance to restore their party’s image by rejecting extremists who don’t reflect mainstream America as a last holdout against civil rights.”

From independent commentators to party insiders, there is broad acknowledgement that the Republican Party needs to make a significant shift on key issues in order to reach a broader constituency. Calls for reform from Republican stalwarts, like Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Jeff Denham (R-CA), underscore the growing recognition that moving immigration reform forward is critical to the party’s survival. Latino voters have already proven to be a powerful force and their number and influence is predicted to grow exponentially in the future.

“If Congress fails to deliver on this electoral mandate, we will let them know at the ballot box,” said Gustavo Torres President, CASA in Action. “Speaker Boehner, we need a vote by August recess; Americans, including millions of families who will be impacted, expect and deserve action on citizenship.”

Results from a new poll released yesterday show that Republican and Independent voters in seven swing Congressional Districts support the same immigration policy as Democrats and, regardless of party affiliation, voters said they would reward politicians who vote for it. Over 75 percent of voters in each district say they believe it’s important that Congress fix our country’s immigration system this year. Recent polling also shows that Latinos would be more likely to vote for a Republican presidential candidate that endorses immigration reform.

Among groups at today’s rally were CASA in Action, 32BJ SEIU, SEIU 1199, Alliance for Citizenship, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement of the Center for Community Change, Communication Workers of America, the UAW, the Laborers International Union (LiUNA), the AFL-CIO, UNITE HERE, SEIU International, and Impacted Immigrant Families.

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