Obama's OFA Rallies for Republicans Backing Pathway to Citizenship

Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 10:24 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Organizing for Action, the outgrowth of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, is supporting a handful of House Republican lawmakers who have expressed support for a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The nonprofit advocacy group established to help implement Obama's domestic political agenda, has sent activists to the GOP constituencies for rallies showing appreciation for their stance on immigration reform, The Washington Post reports.

The demonstrations are also intended to urge the lawmakers to step up their commitment to the proposal, calling on them to host town hall meetings and influence colleagues and local politicians to get behind the proposal.

Volunteers held a rally Monday in the constituency of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the 2012 vice presidential nominee. Other Republicans backed by the group include Reps. Jeff Denham of California, Joe Heck of Nevada, Dave Reichert of Washington, Aaron Schock of Illinois, and Dan Webster of Florida.

The rallies are part of the organization's larger effort to encourage lawmakers to support a variety of issues on the president's agenda which also include Obamacare, gun control, and climate change. At a kickoff dinner in July, Obama urged members to mobilize for "Action August," a monthlong campaign to win over House members to his policy positions.

Most House Republicans have been reluctant to back a pathway to citizenship set out in the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, fearing it could amount to or be seen as "amnesty," and have instead focused reform efforts on measures that would increase border security.

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