A coalition of labor, civil rights, Latino and Hispanic groups is calling on Congress to work with President Obama and get busy with comprehensive immigration reform, or risk the consequences in the 2014 election.
A record 12.5 million Hispanic and Latino voters turned out at the polls in November, and that number will only move higher in the next elections. The coalition says it will begin a campaign of "robust civic engagement and congressional accountability" that will pressure Congress members, Republicans in particular, to move on reform.
"We believe our nation's voters sent a clear message to our elected leaders that they expect action on the outstanding issues facing our country, including immigration reform," the coalition said in a statement released last week. "It is time to fix a broken immigration system that serves no one well -- not business or the economy, not immigrants and our communities. We must seize the moment to finally fix this problem that has eluded us for a generation and that has created so much division and heartache in our nation.
"We fully expect that President Obama will move aggressively on reform early next year, and we call on the House and Senate leadership to bring comprehensive immigration reform to their chambers for action."
The Hispanic groups and labor leaders say they plan to release report cards on individual lawmakers assessing how they performed in advancing immigration reform.
Issuing the coalition's joint statement were Janet Murguia, National President and CEO of National Council of La Raza; Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer of Service Employees International Union; Brent A. Wilkes, National Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens; Ben Monterroso, National Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota; Maria Teresa Kumar, CEO/President of Voto Latino; Hector Sanchez, Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; Chris Espinosa, National Director of Advocacy of Hispanic Federation; Max Sevillia, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs of NALEO Educational Fund.