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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chairman Steele and the RNC Flip Flop on Promises Made to Immigration Advocates

CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is a partner in the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign. This is the latest release from the Campaign:

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2010

Shuya Ohno (202) 309-5645
Katherine Vargas (202) 641-5198

Will the Real Republican Party Stand Up for Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Chairman Steele and the RNC Flip Flop on Promises Made to Immigration Advocates

Washington D.C. - Yesterday at a meeting with immigration reform advocates, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele promised a public statement in support of comprehensive immigration reform and pledged to work hard to get additional Senate Republicans to join Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in advancing bi-partisan immigration reform legislation with Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). Hours later, one of his many handlers backpedaled from the Chairman's explicit promises to advocates. The following is a statement from Rich Stolz, Campaign Manager of the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign:

Apparently, the Chairman's promises and reassurances that the RNC wanted what was right for the country with regard to immigration reform were an early April Fool's joke on America. It is no joke that the Chairman's bungled leadership and small minded thinking on immigration reform appear to pervade the halls of the RNC to the detriment of the Republican Party. As many Republican leaders surely know, America desperately needs comprehensive immigration reform. Rather than letting the RNC issue statements of denial, Chairman Steele should speak for himself, and tell the American people what he told immigration advocates on Tuesday.

But unlike Chairman Steele, there are Republicans in America who have the courage to stand up for what's right for the nation. Senator Lindsey Graham has shown great courage by stepping forward and committing to sponsor immigration reform legislation. He joins other Republican leaders like President Ronald Reagan, President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who led efforts to reform our broken immigration system. More recently, other conservative and GOP leaders have gone on record calling for comprehensive immigration reform-former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement head Julie Myers, and current members of Congress such as Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who addressed 200,000 people, including conservatives, gathered on the National Mall on March 21st to call for immigration reform.

America needs principled leadership from both the Democratic and Republican Parties, and not the retracted promises of Michael Steele, nor the shrill, antiquated anti-immigrant voices of others in the extremist wings of the Republican Party. We hope other leaders - and there are many in the Republican Party - and Republican Senators will follow the example of Graham, Diaz-Balart, DeLay, Myers and others and rise to the occasion to solve one of our nation's toughest problems. The Campaign will work with leaders of both parties to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality in Congress this year.


ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN: The Reform Immigration FOR America campaign is a coalition of more than 600 faith, labor, business, progressive, and immigration reform groups that have joined together to get comprehensive immigration reform passed. For more information please visit or

CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is a partner in the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign and is the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest.



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