The summer of 2013 was a critical turning point for the immigration rights movement, led by the nation’s largest immigration reform collaborative – Alliance for Citizenship (A4C), a project of The Advocacy Fund. Momentum continues to be on their side as they fight for legalization with a path to citizenship for our nation’s 11 million aspiring citizens. There were moments of elation in late June when the Senate passed historic immigration reform legislation by a 2 to 1 vote, followed by the intense ground war in key congressional districts across the country to tee up a vote in the House this fall.
The Alliance for Citizenship and its partners are determined to pass immigration reform this year—and once and for all, put an end to a broken system that tears apart families through heartless deportations and establishes a roadmap for immigrants to come out from the shadows and gives them access to full citizenship.
There exists a bipartisan majority in the House who support legalization with a path to citizenship, just as there is a bipartisan majority of Americans who want our elected officials to act now. If House leaders scheduled a vote on reform with a path to citizenship right now, a bipartisan majority of members in the House would vote for it. It’s up to House Republican leaders – Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy – to give us our vote.
A4C is a federation of some of our nation’s leading nonprofit and labor union organizations, who are educating elected officials, conducting legislative policy and analysis, engaging core constituencies and new allies, and implementing strategic communications and media.
A4C’s leadership includes America’s Voice, Center for American Progress, Center for Community Change, National Council of La Raza, National Immigration Forum, National Immigration Law Center, the AFL-CIO, and SEIU. These leading organizations are joined by more than sixty local and national groups representing women’s rights, human rights, education advocates, LGBT rights, the environment, the business community, and Evangelical Christians, to name just a few. Never before has a coalition this diverse come together around this issue, demonstrating the broad and deep support for reform throughout our nation: Americans want fair, humane immigration policy with a path to citizenship. Why?
It’s good policy: It will modernize our immigration system so it’s safe, legal, orderly, and humane.
It’s good economics: A Congressional Budget Office report shows that reform will grow our economy by 3% and reduce the deficit by almost a trillion dollars over two decades.
It’s good politics: Democrats want reform to show they can deliver. Republicans need reform to connect with Latino, Asian, immigrant, young, and independent voters. And the country wants to know that both parties can work together to tackle tough challenges and get things done.
“This continues to be a critical time for our communities to make loud and clear our demand for a vote on immigration reform with a path to citizenship,” says Sue Chinn, the Campaign Director of the Alliance for Citizenship. “We will be out in full force in key districts to make sure that these House members understand that doing nothing on immigration is unacceptable. Our families and communities won’t stop until we get a vote on citizenship.”
A4C and its partners are a powerful driving force in ensuring that Congress enacts reform – monitoring the legislative process by the minute; rallying support and pressure on Members of Congress; and dominating the media narrative. As Congress returns to Washington this fall, A4C will continue to bring the heat and demand a vote on citizenship. There is an historic opportunity to get it done and get it right. 2013 is the best chance we’ve had in a generation to pass common-sense immigration reform. The Senate already passed a strong, bipartisan immigration bill. Now, we need the House to do its job and pass real immigration reform into law.
A4C is proud to partner with Tides and The Advocacy Fund in the fight to fix our country’s broken immigration system and to win a path to citizenship for all 11 million aspiring citizens living in the United States.
For more information on A4C, please go to www.allianceforcitizenship.org.
Photo: Washington DC © 2010 Lloyd Wolf