Zuckerberg group: ‘Pressure is on’ for immigration reform

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The House is entering a “critical period” in the battle over immigration reform, according to the group launched by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders.

The rise of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to House majority leader and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to majority whip could be good news for the push, FWD.us President Joe Green said in a blog post on Monday.

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“Both of these representatives have indicated their support for fixing our fundamentally broken system multiple times,” he wrote. “[A]s members of House GOP leadership, the pressure is on for them — along with Speaker [John] Boehner — to take action and bring reform legislation to a vote as soon as possible, so that we can boost our economy and do right by the millions of American families living in fear of separation.”

Scalise has been a critic of efforts like FWD.us's to overhaul the country's immigration system and has opposed "amnesty" for immigrants not legally in the country.

Green urged supporters of reform to contact their member of Congress and push for action.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) stunning primary defeat earlier this month was widely seen as the death knell for immigration legislation this year, after Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat, repeatedly hammered him for being open to some reform proposals. 

Tech company executives who have been the most vocal supporters of reform have pushed back against that narrative. They note that the same night Cantor lost by double digits, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has been a more vocal supporter of reform, handily won his primary.

If anything, they claim Cantor was punished for not taking a firm enough stance on the issue.

Critics of the executives’ immigration push have said that they are merely seeking a fresh supply of cheap labor and want to undercut American workers.

— This story was updated at 2:04 p.m.