Huge Latino Turnout Changes the Game on Immigration [INFOGRAPHIC]
What a difference an election can make, and this year’s was certainly a game-changer for immigration.
After years of inaction on the issue, a number of elected officials—even some hardline conservatives—are breaking the gridlock that has kept Congress from coming up with solutions to address the 12 million undocumented, aspiring Americans here and outline an fair immigration system for the future.
During his first press conference since being re-elected, President Obama told the media that White House officials and members of Congress are in discussions over legislation to address immigration reform.
“This has not historically been a partisan issue,” Obama told reporters. “We’ve had President Bush, John McCain and others who have supported comprehensive reform in the past. So we need to seize the moment.”
After some Republicans suffered major losses in a number of races this election cycle, party leaders have reportedly done some political soul-searchingand are re-evaluating their stances on issues that have alienated some Latinos and people of color.
Some notable post-election moments for immigration politics and policy include:
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said immigration is a high-priority issuethat should be solved shortly after inauguration.
- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was confidentboth parties could come to an agreement.
- Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Republican who has previously supported legalization but then voted against the DREAM Act in 2012, tweetedabout the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
- Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) stressed at an event at the Center for American Progress that “deferred action is not enough,” and called on his colleagues to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are reportedly co-authoring a bill on immigration reform. “[We’re] talking right now. I think we have a darn good chance,” Schumer saidon “Meet the Press.”
- Even outspoken conservative pundit Sean Hannity said he’s “evolved”on the issue.
The message is clear: It’s time to provide a path for our 12 million undocumented immigrants and reform our broken immigration system.
Brian Stewart is the communications manager at Campus Progress. Eduardo Garcia is advocacy manager at Campus Progress. Follow him @itseddie.
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