The nation’s largest amnesty organizations gathered in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to issue a joint call for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.  (The Press Enterprise, Dec. 11, 2012) The groups attending the meeting in D.C. included the National Council of La Raza, America’s Voice, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Hispanic Federation, Voto Latino, and Mi Familia Vota. (See La Raza press release, Dec. 12, 2012)

At a press conference, these amnesty organizations proudly demanded that Congress reward law-breaking by passing amnesty legislation.  (McClatchy News Service, Dec. 12, 2012) “Our movement has been very clear: the centerpiece of broad reform is citizenship,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 13, 2012) He insisted that Republicans aren’t going to successfully confront their political problem and risk further alienating Hispanics if they oppose citizenship. (Id.)  The organizations also demanded that lawmakers grant illegal aliens citizenship as part of a large, “comprehensive” immigration reform bill instead of a series of smaller, targeted bills. (See The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2012)

The groups also demanded that Congress act now.  According to La Raza President Janet Murguia, the November election was a “game changer” that provided Congress the mandate for bi-partisan amnesty legislation in 2013.  (See The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2012) Stating that Latinos had demonstrated their power in the 2012 elections, she said: “We intend to continue to build that power. To grow that power.  And now we intend to use it to advance comprehensive immigration reform.”  (McClatchy News Service , Dec. 12, 2012)

To pressure Congress, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina promised a “massive” grassroots campaign. “Failure is not an option,” Medina said. “Comprehensive immigration reform is going to happen. Whether it will be over the political bodies of some of the current members of Congress, only they can decide.” (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2012)

Finally, these amnesty advocates warned that they will hold accountable those lawmakers who oppose amnesty.  They promised to issue report cards on Members of Congress indicating their support for amnesty legislation.  (Houston Chronicle, Dec. 13, 2012)  “Make no mistake,” said Mr. Medina, “[W]e will be watching.”  (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2012)