2007 Revisited in Run-up to 2010

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on November 2, 2009

A spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza says supporters of "comprehensive" immigration reform will need to apply the same kinds of pressure on Congress that reform opponents used in 2007 to defeat the bill in the Senate.

"The lesson for us and what we are learning is that if this is what the politicians respond to, then we have to create activities of this type," Clarissa Martinez told the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion, which is published in Los Angeles. (The original article is here.)

The story, published Sunday, paraphrases Martinez's observation about the thousands of phone calls from reform opponents that astonished the Senate and helped turn back the reform legislation supported most prominently by the left-right combination of Democrat Ed Kennedy and Republican John McCain.

The paper reported that Martinez "said that these calls and the revolt of a minority (of the public) were able to do more than millions of people marching through the streets and conducting vigils."

Martinez said that when Congress next takes up the legislation, Latino leaders will need to pressure their Democratic allies to stay behind the legislation.

But the story also noted that many immigration activists "think that 2010 is an especially difficult year, given that it is a time of mid-term elections and many members of congress have to respond to their local electorates." As an example of such pressure, it cited Sen. McCain's questioning of the recent Obama administration decision to limit its cooperation with Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the enforcement of immigration law.

Rep. Raul Grijvala, D-Ariz., has called Arpaio "a minefield for McCain," who is up for reelection next year.

Topics: UnidosUS