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Influential groups push Congress on immigration reform

The largest Latino organizations in the nation have banded together to put pressure on Congressional members to approach immigration reform seriously and promptly. They have specifically warned that 2013 Congressional debates related to any immigration rules and procedures will be analyzed on a report card.

This report card will then be used in support of or to denounce members of Congress who are running for re-election. Those who support comprehensive immigration reform will be rewarded and the opposition will be targeted and called out in re-election campaigns.

In all, one labor union and seven Latino social and political groups joined forces to demand comprehensive reform in 2013. Their position has certainly been strengthened by the influential nature of the Latino vote in the 2012 presidential election. However, their warning is not only voiced in support of Latino immigrants and aspiring immigrants, but is also made in honor of other immigrants from around the globe as well.

It is the fervent wish of the Latino groups that President Obama and Congress work to create comprehensive immigration legislation not long after inauguration in January. The ultimate goal is passage of said legislation by the late summer of 2013.

It is unclear whether the looming fiscal crisis will allow Congress to focus on immigration reform so early in the year, but the Latino leadership has certainly aimed to light a fire under both the House and Senate. Threatening Congressional members less than two months after their last election with consequences for their next election is a bold move. It will be interesting to see how Congress responds to the push.

Source: New York Times, "Latino Groups Warn Congress to Fix Immigration, or Else," Julia Preston, Dec. 12, 2012

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