Hispanic amnesty activists are expanding their goals beyond the so-called “DREAM Act” youth amnesty, towards a national amnesty for roughly 11 million Hispanic illegals.
President Barack Obama and Congress “need to come together to deliver change on immigration policy, and by that we mean … a roadmap to citizenship for our parents and communities,” said Cristina Jimenez, director of an advocacy group, United We Dream.
“Deporting members of our community is irresponsible and unacceptable,” added Lorella Praeli, the group’s policy director.
Their demand is an opening salvo in a post-election campaign to persuade the House GOP to provide “a path to citizenship” for roughly 11 million illegal immigrants, most of whom are low-skill laborers who compete for jobs against low-skill Americans.
The amnesty goal is supported by many progressive groups, in part, because most Hispanics prefer generous welfare policies, and so usually vote for Democratic candidates.
In contrast, many Republican advocates and legislators favor high-skill immigration, partly because high-skilled workers spur the economy and lower unemployment.
Republican Rep. John Boehner, the leader of the House of Representatives, has agreed to consider an immigration revamp next year, but has not described the law he’d like to see.
“It is important for us to secure our borders and to enforce our laws. … [And] I’m confident that the president, myself, others, can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all,” Boehner told ABC on Thursday.
But the issue has been gridlocked because most GOP leaders prefer high-skill immigration, while most progressives believe that continued arrival of low-skill immigrants boosts their political power.
Gov Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election, in part, because of low turnout by blue-collar workers in Ohio and other states.