After months of sitting on the sidelines of the health care debate, immigration advocates brought their message directly to Washington. … [T]ens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters descended on the nation’s capital to participate in the pro-amnesty “March for America.” While the House of Representatives wound down the final votes on ObamaCare, liberal activists paraded around the National Mall wielding signs that read, “No Human Being Is Illegal” and “We Work for America.” Their message for President Obama and his colleagues in Congress was clear: We want amnesty, and we want it now. […]Subscribe to Townhall magazine today to make sure you get your copy of the May issue, featuring Michelle Malkin and this power feature on the Left's plans for immigration "reform" and who's pulling the strings.
The rally’s list of participants reads like a who’s who of the Left’s heavy hitters: National Council of La Raza; NAACP; SEIU; Southern Poverty Law Center; AFLCIO; National Urban League; ACORN; National Education Association; Code Pink; George Soros’ Center for American Progress and many more. […]
It is no coincidence that groups on the Left are growing more and more anxious about pushing through their plans for “comprehensive” reform as the close of the 111th Congress draws nearer. The electoral support of liberal, pro-amnesty groups such as the National Council of La Raza and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is key to Democrats’ electoral success. These groups were ardent supporters of Obama’s health care overhaul legislation, and now their leaders are weighing in on immigration reform.
Groups such as SEIU know a plan for amnesty translates into millions of new votes for liberal causes and candidates that union leadership fervently support. In June 2009, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina told a crowd of progressives gathered for the America’s Future Now! conference that the Left’s battle for immigration reform is a battle for political power. “When they voted in November, they voted overwhelmingly for progressive candidates,” Medina said, referring to Latino voters. “Barack Obama got two out of every three voters that showed up.”
Medina, a long-time union heavyweight, has been honored by Chicago’s Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for his ongoing work for progressive immigration reform and became an honorary DSA chairman in 2004. He has been advising Barack Obama on immigration policy since 2008 when he joined Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council.
“I think there’s two things [sic] that matter for the progressive community,” he continued. “No. 1, if we are to expand this electorate to win, the progressive community needs to solidly be on the side of immigrants, that we’ll expand and solidify the progressive coalition for the future. … No. 2, we reform the immigration laws, it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters … if we have 8 million new voters who … will be voting, we will be creating a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”
Not only would a new policy of amnesty mean bigger support for the Left’s political causes, but as vice president of the radical SEIU, Medina knows his union also stands to drastically expand its dues-paying membership.
Obama and his progressive colleagues know that liberal immigration reform would be strategically advantageous for the Left’s political future and have worked for more than two decades to secure an easy path to citizenship for America’s growing number of illegal aliens. The Congressional Progressive Caucus added “earned amnesty for illegal immigrants” to its list of top priorities in 2006. That same year, Obama’s strongly pro-union secretary of labor, Hilda Solis, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote in The Nation: “It is time to implement a plan that grants legal status to hardworking and taxpaying immigrant workers already established in this country.”
In remarks delivered in July 2008, then-candidate Obama announced to a crowd of La Raza supporters, “Make no mistake about it—the Latino community holds this election in your hands. … I know how powerful this community is. Together, we won’t just win an election; we will transform this nation.”
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