Special Edition: Senate Passes S. 744!
Week Ending June 28
This week in immigration reform: the Senate passes S. 744 with a strong bipartisan 68-32 vote on Thursday June 27, a historic step forward for immigration reform and a milestone for all those who have worked for reform over these past several months, especially NCLR’s Affiliates and partners who worked tirelessly by meeting with senators, calling into offices, and organizing in countless other creative ways. On to the House!
Senate passes S. 744 in strong bipartisan vote; House is next! After years of hard work on the part of the Latino and immigrant-rights community as well as by the Senate “Gang of Eight” (Sens. John McCain (R–Ariz.), Dick Durbin (D–Ill.), Marco Rubio (R–Fla.), Robert Menendez (D–N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.), Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.) and Michael Bennet (D–Colo)) the Senate voted to approve S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013,” in a strong bipartisan vote of 68-32 on Thursday, June 27th 2013.
This past November Latino voters went to the polls with immigration in their hearts, soundly rejecting the discredited policy of “self-deportation” and voting in favor of those candidates who supported comprehensive immigration reform that includes a real and accessible road to citizenship. Now, with the majority of senators having voted for progress over obstruction and the broken status quo, it is up to the House of Representatives to decide if they will stand with or stand against the Latino community and the interests of the United States. We’ve achieved a significant victory but the fight isn’t over, and we will need to call on you once again to convince your Representative to stand for progress, and not against it.
See whether your senators voted for progress or for obstruction here, and let them know you will remember their decision in the future. Please call (877) 746-2575 and thank your senators if they voted for the bill, or express your disappointment if they voted against it.
NCLR and Affiliates push for “aye” votes on S. 744.
- California: NCLR Affiliate TODEC Legal Center capitalized on the Senate victory by swiftly pivoting to the House, meeting on Friday June 28 with Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA-8) to urge the Congressman to come out in favor of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a strong road to citizenship.
Meanwhile, NCLR’s California office and Affiliates directed grasstops and grassroots calls to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) throughout the week, applauding her for her strong support of the Senate’s immigration reform bill.
- Florida: NCLR staff conducted a phonebank and organized Latino leaders in the South Florida community to call Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) this week, with callers urging the senator to stand by the bill he helped to create and work with his Republican colleagues to firm up support for S. 744. Callers were rewarded by witnessing 14 Republican senators vote for the final bill on Thursday June 27.
- Illinois: Illinois Affiliates, disappointed that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted against beginning debate on the bill last week, drove countless grassroots and grasstops calls into Sen. Kirk’s office this week with callers expressing their displeasure and urging the senator to stand with, rather than against, much-needed immigration reform. Happily, Sen. Kirk listened to the concerns of his constituents and voted in favor of the final bill.
- New Jersey: NCLR organized community leaders in New Jersey to call Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa (R-N.J.) throughout the week, urging the senator to vote in favor of S. 744. Sen. Chiesa listened to his constituents and voted in favor of the final bill.
- Nevada: NCLR’s Nevada office joined with the Latino Leadership Council to host a phonebank and watch party as the Senate voted on S. 744 Thursday June 27, with callers thanking Sen. Dean Heller for his public declaration to vote for S. 744 and urging Reps. Joe Heck (D-Nev.) and Mark Amodei (D-Nev.) to work for reform in the House.
- North Carolina: NCLR Affiliate the Latin American Coalition (LAC) ran a phonebank to Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) this week, generating 621 calls to the senators on Monday alone. While Sen. Hagan heeded her constituents and the best interests of North Carolina and voted for S. 744, Sen. Burr chose to vote against progress.
- Ohio: Former ELC grantee Hispanas Organizadas de Lake and Ashtabula (HOLA) drove grassroots and grasstops into the office of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) this week. Callers urged Sen. Portman to support comprehensive immigration reform including a real and accessible path to citizenship, and voiced their disappointment with the excessive border security provisions recently added to the bill.
- Tennessee: NCLR Affiliate Latino Memphis conducted a phonebank throughout this week, with staff, interns, and volunteers driving in calls in support of S. 744 to Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). These efforts proved fruitful, with both Tennessee Republican senators supporting the final bill in Thursday’s vote.
- Texas: NCLR staff and Affiliates met with the staff of Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) offices and organized grasstops calls to the senator this week, urging the Senator to cease his opposition to S.744. Unfortunately Sen. Cornyn chose the path of doubt and cynicism, voting against the final bill.
- Washington, DC: NCLR staff met this week on multiple occasions with the offices of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
NCLR’s Digital Communications team generated hundreds of calls this week via text-and-web-based action alerts, with 667 calls directed to the Senate on Monday June 24 alone.
NCLR Affiliates: To share your recent meetings on immigration with your members of Congress, please fill out the report-back form on our website.
NCLR published a new “Truth in Immigration” infographic this week, explaining that providing healthcare access to aspiring Americans lowers health care costs for us all (see graphic below). Share this infographic on Facebook, and check the “Truth in Immigration” web page frequently for updates.