Washington DC (PR) _ “The baton has been passed from the one man standing in the way of comprehensive immigration reform to the next. For months outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor got more than an earful from reform advocates – not to mention the business community – for sitting on the Senate immigration bill that was passed with strong bipartisan support."
Americans United for Change executive director Caren Benjamin issued the statement on Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23)’s new role as House Majority Leader.
"The Latino community may only make up 2 percent of Cantor’s district, but 72 percent of all voters in Virginia’s 7th want immediate action on the Senate bill – a point that reform advocates made loud and clear outside several of Cantor’s private fundraisers.
But that’s nothing compared to what’s in store for the new Leader Kevin McCarthy, who represents a district with a 35 percent Latino community and a local economy that benefits greatly from immigrant workers.
Last summer, thousands of immigration reform advocates marched on McCarthy’s office when he was just the Majority Whip. This summer, McCarthy will need to batten down the hatches if he chooses to carry on Cantor’s legacy of playing nice with the anti-immigrant Tea Party crowd in Congress and having nothing to show for it.
McCarthy, who has claimed to be open to a pathway to citizenship, can avoid a long, hot summer by bringing forward the Senate immigration reform bill as his first act of Majority Leader.
The votes are there between the two parties in the House. The support is there from his constituents and the American people. The support is there from the U.S. Chamber and business community that recognizes all the economic benefits that come from beginning to bring 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.
The Tea Party is nothing to fear – only to be marginalized. Just ask Senator Graham who voted for the Senate immigration reform bill and easily brushed off the Tea Party challengers simply by not getting squishy about it.”