RNC Joins Immigration Reform Debate Thanks to Coalition’s Push

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Contact: For English language Media: Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org, 202-339-9331, 202-441-3798 (cell) For Spanish language Media: Ricardo Ramírez, rramirez@communitychange.org 202-339-9371, (202) 905-1738 (cell)

RNC Joins Immigration Reform Debate Thanks to Coalition’s Push

GOP Finally Recognizes Power of Latino, Immigrant Voices

(WASHINGTON)—The Republican National Committee has finally joined in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform thanks largely in part to the work of the largest immigrant rights groups in this country who make up the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), and the power that Latino and immigrants have shown at the ballot box in the past few years.

On Monday, the RNC released a report that included a recommendation to “embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party's appeal will continue to shrink."

“FIRM welcomes the RNC to the immigration reform movement and has this message for them: embrace a path to citizenship without unnecessary hurdles that also keeps families together as they work toward becoming full-fledged Americans,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “This is the message you must spread to your party.”

Last week, the RNC headquarters in Washington was the site of a peaceful demonstration by about 120 family members who have suffered under the current broken immigration system. Demonstrators chanted “Republicans remember, we vote in November” over and over again in the RNC’s lobby and several people told their heartbreaking stories of family separation caused by current policies.

In 2010, FIRM was credited building the firewall that saved the U.S. Senate from an all but certain Republican takeover when in record numbers, our voters rejected anti-immigrant candidates in Nevada, Colorado, California and Washington. In 2011, FIRM was successful in the recall of Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant racial profiling law.

“FIRM worked tirelessly to boost registration and turn out rates in our communities with astounding results in 2012,” Matos said. “Our combined efforts covered 30 states, reached 600,000 voters and turned out at least 120,000 new and/or infrequent voters in key states. Our message was heard in overwhelming terms when those voters were credited with delivering a resounding defeat to Mitt Romney’s anti-immigrants policies.”

“In 2013, we will be the force that pushes Congress toward a comprehensive immigration reform bill that contains a path to citizenship and keeps 11 million undocumented citizens-in-waiting with their families,” Matos said.