With the government shutdown now behind us, labor and community activists seek to capitalize on the current political moment and push through commonsense immigration policy reform. President Obama has signaled that immigration reform is at the top of his political agenda following the shutdown. It is up to us to make sure working families have their voices heard in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
From Congress to communities across the country, workers are continuing to fight to secure a road map to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. Here are just a few of last week’s campaign developments:
- Over the weekend labor, immigrant rights and community groups in the Kern Coalition for Citizenship staged an action at the Bakersfield, Calif., office of Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House majority whip. Activists made the point that “the time is now” for immigration reform by delivering a number of loud, red alarm clocks to McCarthy in a press conference in front of his office.
- This week, faith and business leaders are stepping up their calls for the House to pass an immigration policy reform bill. Evangelical Immigration Table released a letter Monday to lawmakers signed by top faith leaders that comes amid a nationwide prayer blitz for reform. Meanwhile, the National Immigration Forum and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy are bringing together 300 business representatives from more than 50 congressional districts early next week to make the case for reform.
- Currently, 182 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have come out to publicly support H.R. 15, the House version of the Senate immigration bill. With overwhelming public support for a road map to citizenship, we think this number will continue to grow as the debate moves in the House.
- Check out this great blog post from Victor Narro, the project director for the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, where he outlines the AFL-CIO’s historic trajectory on immigration and community organizing leading up to last month’s historic convention.
In this moment, it is vital that we continue our fight for immigration policy reform that respects worker rights and includes a road map to citizenship. Every union, labor council, Working America member and allied organization has an important role to play in this fight. It’s up to us to build a more inclusive movement for years to come. Click here to sign our petition telling Speaker John Boehner we need a vote on citizenship in the House of Representatives.
Thank you for everything you do. We’ll win this fight by running the most open campaign we can. Send us your ideas, stories and questions to [email protected].
María Elena Durazo, Chair, AFL-CIO Immigration Committee
Tom Snyder, AFL-CIO Immigration Campaign Manager
Ana Avendaño, AFL-CIO Assistant to the President and Director of Immigration and Community Action