Advocates warn failure to address immigration will result in ‘widespread losses for Democrats’

Several advocacy groups warned congressional Democrats in a memo Wednesday that if they failed to find a way to create a pathway for citizenship for undocumented immigrants, it would result in “widespread losses for Democrats.”

In a memo obtained by Politico, the groups addressed both chambers’ Democratic caucuses and campaign committees, saying that “citizenship for undocumented immigrants in America can no longer remain an unfulfilled campaign promise for the Democratic Party.”

Specifically, the groups directed the congressional Democrats to bring immigration reform as a top priority to President Biden and ultimately include provisions to tackle a pathway to citizenship as part of the reconciliation bill.

“Socializing and saturating President Biden and Democrats’ immigration solutions is a first and evergreen step; passing the Senate leadership’s budget reconciliation plan that would, once and for all, create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants must be the immediate next step this year,” the letter concluded.

The group of organizations includes: Immigration Hub, People’s Action, Service Employees International Union and Voto Latino. 

Axios reported on Wednesday that Biden planned to meet with 11 Democrats at the White House on Thursday to plan next steps in tackling the issue of citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The news comes amid an earlier ruling this month by a federal judge in Texas that blocked new applications to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The ruling has put pressure on Congress to speed up the process in finding a permanent solution for Dreamers. The memo cited the recent ruling and upcoming midterm elections as reason to move quickly, stating there would be political consequences if they failed to act.

“Failure to fulfill this basic campaign promise will depress base turnout, particularly among Latinos, leave critical swing votes on the table, and result in widespread losses for Democrats in the upcoming midterms and potentially sacrifice the White House in 2024,” the memo warned.

The groups argued that prioritizing citizenship for undocumented immigrants would also reengage Latino voters. The memo stated that the Latino vote in next year’s midterms and future presidential elections should not be taken for granted. The organizations pointed to few Latino voters turning out for the Democratic Party in areas like South Florida and the Rio Grande Valley over the last few elections.

“Democrats have an opportunity to redefine their Party among Latino voters by boldly articulating their position, pushing back against Republicans, and delivering on the unfulfilled promise — immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship,” the memo said.

Tags DACA Dreamers Immigration Hub Joe Biden Latino voters People’s Action Service Employees International Union Voto latino

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