By Seung Min Kim
February 20, 2017
The issue of immigration is as contentious as ever, with President Donald Trump’s travel ban causing international chaos before it was halted by the courts and a new wave of immigration raids descending in communities nationwide.
But during this week’s congressional recess, pro-reform forces are nonetheless launching a massive and elaborate push to stir up public support for a comprehensive immigration overhaul.
The Partnership for a New American Economy, the advocacy group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has recruited a number of congressional Republicans and Democrats to headline events promoting immigration across the country. During those events — which range from roundtables to farm tours — the group and lawmakers will promote new information compiled by the Partnership for all 435 congressional districts, 50 states and the 60 largest U.S. cities that details the impact of immigration in each area.
Some are well-known proponents of immigration reform, such as Florida Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo. But the Bloomberg group has also brought on a number of GOP lawmakers who haven’t so far been marquee names in the immigration battle, including several from agriculture-heavy states: Oklahoma Reps. Frank Lucas and Steve Russell, and Georgia Reps. Doug Collins, Austin Scott and Drew Ferguson.
The Partnership has even enlisted supporters of Trump — who stridently took hardline stances on immigration during his campaign for the White House — to back their efforts: Irma Aguirre, a Nevada business owner and member of Latinos for Trump, and Mario Rodriguez, who sits on Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
"Immigration is top of the agenda politically, but the national discussion often bears little resemblance to the facts on the ground,” said Jeremy Robbins, the group’s executive director. “In community after community and industry after industry, immigration is helping America and American workers."
About 100 events will be held nationwide during recess, primarily in conservative and swing districts and states, according to the group. Also participating will be local farm bureaus and chambers of commerce.
In conjunction with the new push, the Partnership is doing an ad blitz promoting immigration reform that will air inside cabs and digitally in cities such as Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas and Miami.
There are few legislative avenues for immigration this year, although the Trump administration intends to send a supplemental bill to Congress later this year to authorize construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Key senators have also prepared legislation in case Trump revokes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants deportation deferral and work permits to immigrants brought to the United States illegally at a young age.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com