Immigration Advocates Target House GOP with 'Grass-Tops' Campaigns

Immigration Advocates Target House GOP with 'Grass-Tops' Campaigns

Republican groups that support immigration reform will join big business interests, left-wing interest groups, and labor unions to target 100 House Republicans during the August recess. 

Activist groups like the SEIU, AFSCME, and the National Council of La Raza will reportedly hold “hundreds of events in districts across the country” in August, and Republican groups will also join in the efforts to pressure House Republicans. The House is expected to vote on piecemeal immigration reform bills after the recess in an attempt to get to a conference with the Senate.

According to Politico, this “unusually coordinated” and “unprecedented” effort will include a “a major grass-tops initiative” by groups like the American Action Network, the Partnership for a New American Economy, Republicans for Immigration Reform, a super PAC formed by former Bush Administration official Carlos Gutierrez, and other interests. These campaigns will try to make it seem like there is a groundswell of support for immigration reform in the districts of lawmakers who are on the fence. 

“Advocates of reform understand that for our conservative base, the month of August is very important to provide accurate information about the need for comprehensive reform,” Charlie Spies, of the Republicans for Immigration Reform super PAC, told the publication.

He also said comprehensive immigration reform supporters were caught off-guard by the backlash last decade from working-class Americans who did not want a flood of cheap labor reducing their wages, and they vowed not to be caught off-guard during the next round.

In addition, American Action Network reportedly plans to “spend about $250,000 in August” to “push House Republicans to consider supporting immigration reform. The campaign will be in more than 20 districts and more than 10 states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, California and Texas.”

Politico notes that “senior strategists from numerous groups are engaging in daily conference calls to ensure that they are targeting districts in a comprehensive way.”