The Senate legislation included the provision for an earned path to citizenship for eleven million undocumented immigrants, contingent on a heavy immigration enforcement build-up. The spring immigration debate in the Senate that led to this bipartisan bill was largely the result of legislators’ wake-up call from the 2012 elections, when Latino and immigrant voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats and helped deliver President Obama’s re-election.
The momentum remains on the side of Latinos, immigrants, and other supporters of reform. And the overwhelming majority of Americans favor comprehensive immigration reform – rather than piecemeal changes or those that focus on enforcement-only approaches or work visas for particular industries.
Over the summer, advocates of reform organized approximately 1,200 events, including vigils and protests, in more than 40 states; attended nearly 150 town halls; conducted more than 350 congressional visits; collected 600,000 signatures for a petition for House Speaker John Boehner; and contacted members of Congress nearly 100,000 times, according to the Alliance for Citizenship’s database. Now, on Oct. 5, supporters will again rally nationwide to demand comprehensive immigration reform.