The New York Times yesterday featured a story about how the Tea Party has influenced the GOP on immigration: “On Capitol Hill, the Tea Party wing continues to drive the party’s agenda. Last winter, as House Republican leaders drafted their ‘principles’ for immigration overhaul, they largely disregarded the opponents of any form of legal status for immigrants in the country illegally, dismissing them as a loud but small minority.”
Niger Innis, the executive director of TheTeaParty.net, the nation’s largest grassroots tea party organization and convener of regular Tea Party caucus events on Capitol Hill, issued the following statement:
What we’re seeing here is Tea Party 2.0. It’s a maturation of the movement. We are influencing the debate inside Congress. It’s true that not all of the Tea Party candidates won their primaries around the country this electoral season, but in every case they made the incumbents more conservative. We see that on immigration and the stance the entire Republican leadership has taken in disavowing an open-borders, amnesty-for-all approach they were considering a year ago. Last fall we launched our Secure America Now petition and have collected more than 128,000 signatures demanding that before we tackle any attempt at immigration reform we secure our borders first. It worked. We’ve won the debate. And it’s gratifying to see the New York Times acknowledge it.