White House Lobbying Arm Gears Up for Immigration Debate

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 12:40 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Organizing for Action, the nonprofit successor to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, is launching a major online lobbying effort this week on behalf of immigration reform, reports The New York Times.

The group has gathered 7,000 personal stories of supporters, including immigrants who entered the United States illegally or were brought into the country as young children by their parents, said the newspaper, and will distribute them through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

The nonprofit is working to support legislation that would give the 11 million immigrants who are already in the country illegally a path to citizenship, according to the Times. A bipartisan group of eight senators working on a bill to overhaul the immigration system is expected to unveil their proposals in early April.

“It is clear that America’s immigration system is broken, with so many employers that game the system by hiring undocumented workers and 11 million people living in the shadows,” Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, told the Times, adding: “Neither is good for the economy or the country.”

A path to citizenship is the biggest sticking point in immigration reform efforts, with many conservatives proposing it should be a slower process tied to enhanced border security and employment verification.

The group plans to hold a number of events during the first week in April designed to focus attention on the immigration issue a week before the Senate immigration bill is scheduled to be unveiled, the Times noted. The events include phone banks for supporters to call members of Congress, press conferences, community rallies, and letter-writing parties.

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