August 26, 2013
The current congressional recess will represent a small but important victory for immigration reform advocates. Anti-reform activists had hoped to see a repeat of August 2009, when Tea Party groups rallied opposition to Obamacare with marches, protests, and repeated confrontations with lawmakers. But while protests the were planned, it seems that no one is showing up. From The Atlantic Monthly:
Anti-reform groups appear to be canceling events for lack of participation. The Tea Party Patriots once boasted of summer rallies in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Dallas; and South Carolina, but they’ve disappeared from the calendar on the group’s website. Another anti-immigration-reform group, the Black American Leadership Alliance, had planned a nine-city “We Are America Tour,” but had to drop half the stops. “Dear friends, it is with deep regret that I must inform you all that we had to drop several rallies,” an organizer wrote on Facebook, in a post that has since been removed but was spotted and preserved by the pro-reform group America’s Voice. “We were unable to get organizers for the following: Miami, FL., Chicago, IL., Roanoke, VA., and Wisconsin. The Ohio rally is still going to happen, but not under the “Tour” title. FAIR is leading that rally. That leaves us with 4 rallies. Phoenix, AZ. Richmond, VA. And rallies in Houston, and Dallas, TX. Even the rallies in Houston, and Richmond, VA, are not completely confirmed at this time.”
In the absence of a strong grassroots campaign opposing immigration reform, congressional republicans are more likely to heed the advice of their allies in the business community and help pass reform legislation. However, Speaker Boehner still has the power to prevent legislation from even coming up for a vote, so despite this welcome news, the question of whether the GOP wants immigration reform to happen (irrespective of electoral considerations) remains central.
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