After Latino leaders gathered in December and called for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, a rapidly growing number of individuals and groups across America echoed their calls for reforms that will help families, workers, and the economy. Politicians from both parties—heeding the critical role of the powerful Latino electorate in reelecting President Obama and noting Hispanics’ wholesale rejection of Governor Romney and his adoption of the “self-deportation” ideas of the fringe right—have recognized that the time to pass comprehensive immigration reform is now. The American public long ago came to this realization, and in poll after poll they support the president and Congress moving to fix our broken immigration system by providing the 11 million Americans-in-waiting with a road to become legal residents and eventually earn citizenship.
Republicans and Democrats alike are finally acknowledging the public’s demands. Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and John Boehner are leading the GOP in advancing comprehensive immigration reform. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa traveled to Washington, DC to press for reform, and Republican Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen hosted immigration reform forums in South Florida, with Mr. Diaz-Balart promising to work hard to get solutions from Congress this year. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has identified immigration reform as a top priority. At the state level, where only two years ago anti-immigration bills were a dime a dozen, Republican legislators have resisted passing immigration legislation by arguing that comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level is needed. Latino voters announced in November that immigration reform cannot wait, and the political powers are now not only listening, but acting rapidly.
Hispanics are front and center in the national push for Congress to finally pass long-needed solutions to fix a system that serves no one well. As we push for enactment of an immigration reform bill, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is joining with its network of nearly 300 Affiliates across the county to gather the strength of the Latino community by conducting voter registration and citizenship programs, informing Hispanics of congressional action on immigration reform, and uniting to educate our legislators on the issues most urgent to Latino voters.