Business groups, employers and Republican leaders held news conferences at more than 60 congressional districts across the country Wednesday. They called on Congress to work with the Obama administration to enact immigration reform.
Here in Houston, the event was organized by Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy. Norman Adams, co-founder of the group, calls himself a life-long conservative.
“There’s an overwhelming majority of Republicans (who) want sensible immigration reform,” he said. “None of them want any shortcuts to citizenship, but most people have no objection to back-of-the-line provisions.”
Brandon Rottinghaus, a political scientist at the University of Houston, said it may be true that a majority of Republican voters support reform, but the stalemate is due to politicians on the far right of the party.
“Very conservative members of the caucus don’t want any kind of immigration reform,” Rottinghaus said, “and they favor a much more in line with border security issues than they do with a policy that would allow for some kind of citizenship, where mainstream Republicans are a little bit less likely to take that strong of a view.”
The groups that are part of the push for reform say providing immigrants here illegally a path to legal residency would benefit the economy and national security.