Tags: gop | immigration | reform

GOP Donors Urge Action on Immigration Reform

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013 10:11 AM

By Courtney Coren

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More than 100 Republican donors and powerful members of the party are urging GOP lawmakers "to take action to fix our broken immigration system."

Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, founder of Republicans for Immigration Reform, organized the effort and said he wanted to approach lawmakers beforetheir August break, The New York Times reported.

"What tends to happen during the month of August is that members go home and they go to town hall meetings and they check up on their offices in terms of phone calls and letters, and that's where they get bombarded," Gutierrez told the Times. "So Republicans who are for immigration reform — and I believe there are many — we need to make our voice known in August."

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

The letter, sent Tuesday, presses for legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Joining Gutierrez in signing the letter were a number of former government officials, corporate executives, and prominent members of the GOP. According to the Times, they included political strategist Karl Rove, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Melaleuca Inc. founder Frank VanderSloot, and Staples founder Tom Stemberg.

The Senate passed an immigration measure in June, but House Republicans are hesitant to support the bill because it provides a pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants and, they say, does too little to guarantee the security of the border with Mexico.

The letter, the Times reported, calls on lawmakers to include three important elements as part of a comprehensive immigration-reform bill.

"To fix our immigration system we need meaningful reforms that will (1) secure our borders, (2) provide a legal way for U.S.-based companies to hire the workers they need while making it impossible to hire workers here illegally, and (3) take control of our undocumented-immigration problem by providing a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants who pay penalties and back taxes, pass criminal-background checks, and go to the back of the line," the letter states.

Doing nothing, the letter warns, is the same as granting "de facto amnesty" to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The Republicans argue in the letter that comprehensive reform is both smart policy and smart politics, and they point out that the GOP has a natural bond with most immigrants, since many of the party's members have strong conservative values.

"Immigrants are often entrepreneurial, family-minded and guided by faith," the letter states. "These are Republican values. Immigrants play key roles at every level of the American economy. From high-skill workers to seasonal laborers, from big-city neighborhoods to small-town main streets, immigrants help drive our economic growth.

"These are Republican issues. Republicans ought to be welcoming immigrants and be seen as doing so."

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

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