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Immigration Reform: Grassroots Campaigns and 2014

By: Jay Patel

Blog Category: Immigration Reform

When House Speaker, John Boehner, confirmed that the House would not conference with the Senate, the chances of immigration reform in 2013 was meager.[1] As the debate continues into the new year, it remains unclear if grassroots protestors will have an impact on the process. As immigration reform has returned to the national stage, the number of protests and acts of civil disobedience have begun to increase. Indeed a survey of recent newspaper articles on the subject matter reveal a geographically, ethnically and politically diverse group of citizens have engaged in classic tactics that provided the impetus for past reform and became firmly enshrined as a method of achieving that goal.[2]

Protestors favoring immigration reform have engaged in sitdowns, chained themselves outside of a federal building, and blocked roads to spread their message.[3] Some protestors fasted for over a week outside the National Mall. [4] What remains to be seen is whether these grassroots efforts can maintain steam throughout the 2014 mid-term elections. If they can fan the embers through the harsh political chill, immigration reform may become too large to ignore.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  


[1] Seung Min Kim, Boehner dashes hopes of immigration talks, Politico (Nov. 11, 2013), http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/john-boehner-immigration-99797.html

[2] Alex Leary, As momentum for immigration reform dies in Washington, human costs build, (Nov. 16, 2013), http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/as-momentum-for-immigration-reform-dies-in-washington-human-costs-build/2152832;  Jasmine Aguilera, Historically effective civil disobedience is now a tool in the fight for immigration reform, (Nov. 14, 2013), http://borderzine.com/2013/11/historically-effective-civil-disobedience-is-now-a-tool-in-the-fight-for-immigration-reform/.

[3] See Eric Horng, Immigration reform rally blocks South Loop Streets, ABCNews (Nov. 6, 2013), http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?id=9316182; Kip Hill, Immigration Reform Advocates Protest Outside McMorris Rodgers’ Office, The Spokesman-Review (Nov. 13, 2013), http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/nov/13/immigration-reform-advocates-protest-outside-mcmor/; Kate Brumback, Activists lock themselves to gates behind building housing immigration offices in Atlanta, The Republic (Nov. 19,2013), http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/6fffb7212acf4ae69cd2fc76f1658d6d/GA–Immigration-Protest.

[4] Seung Min Kim, House Democrat to join immigration fast, Politico (Nov. 19, 2013), http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/house-democrats-immigration-fast-jan-schakowsky-100094.html.

 

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