Update on Immigration Reform in the House

Posted by on July 15, 2013.

I wanted to provide an update on the status of the House of Representatives coming out of the Republican conference meeting on immigration last Wednesday.

In addition to House Republican leadership, a number of members made the case that doing nothing to fix our broken immigration system is unacceptable; while there is still much work to be done, the House conference meeting signaled that many Republicans believe that there is a clear need for immigration reform, and we believe this indicates that the process toward the passage of immigration reform bills in the House is moving forward. That's why now more than ever we need you to get involved with our efforts.

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Going into the conference meeting, many feared that the House meeting could have resulted in a stampede of negative voices that would overwhelm the issue. Instead, we got a clear statement by Speaker Boehner and other members of House Republican leadership that they were committed to moving forward. We are also encouraged by recent polling released by our affiliate dedicated to conservative outreach and political activity, Americans for a Conservative Direction, pointing to the fact that a clear majority of Republican primary voters believe that the current immigration system is broken, and want and expect this Congress to do something to fix it.

As we gear up to pass immigration reform through the House of Representatives, we are mindful to look back at what worked in our effort to help pass comprehensive immigration reform through the Senate. As the Los Angeles Times noted, “Mark Zuckerberg, with his political advocacy group FWD.us, waged a sophisticated lobbying campaign that helped push forward the legislation that would allow for undocumented workers to become U.S. citizens and increase the flow of highly skilled foreign workers in science and technology.” Through a combination of television ad spending, organizing the tech community and others committed to immigration reform, we are working toward similar goals in the House of Representatives.

Our next big hurdle will be the August recess; our goal is to come out of that period with like-minded House members feeling comfortable about the politics of moving forward. We continue to work to organize the tech community to advocate to members of Congress so they hear from their constituents – including hosting roundtables and volunteer meet-ups across the country. We know that there is broad support across the political spectrum for many elements of comprehensive reform, so we’re making sure we're mobilizing the strong support that's already there from groups like local tech companies to local chambers of commerce to farm associations – helping constituents register their support in local forums and by contacting their elected representatives. There are many different constituencies working on reform, and we're working with anyone who wants to help move the debate forward.

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