POLITICS

Obama campaign plans major push for Gang of Eight immigration bill

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Photo - WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks from the White House about the capture of Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks from the White House about the capture of Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Organizing for Action, the activist group that grew out of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, plans what it calls a “major day of action” next month to gather support for the bipartisan Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill.

“This is a huge moment for President Obama,” said Emmy Ruiz, OFA’s immigration campaign manager, in an email sent to supporters of the Obama campaign Sunday. “The president made it clear last year that comprehensive immigration reform is a big part of his agenda — and we can help him keep that promise to the American people.”

“OFA supporters across the country are doing what they do best — organizing to get the word out about this reform bill,” Ruiz continued.  “We’re hosting a major Day of Action the first week of May, and we want your help in getting people to be a part of it.”

Ruiz asked Obama supporters to take part in a phone bank at OFA’s Washington headquarters this Tuesday to “start laying the groundwork” for passage of the bill.  “This is a bill that can pass the House and the Senate,” she wrote, “but only if we’re willing to fight for it.”

Some Democrats on Capitol Hill have been wary of sounding too enthusiastic about the bill, worried they if they embrace it too openly, Republicans might conclude that Democrats got the better end of the deal. “Democrats are reluctant to sound too positive, fearing that would scare away Republicans,” Politico reported recently.  “Their official response to the bill has been muted, with one press release after another calling it a starting point that must be improved. Yet that description…understates the extent to which Democrats believe their side made off with more policy victories than it could’ve predicted.”

That’s exactly what many skeptical Republicans suspected.  Now, with Organizing for Action going into full campaign on behalf of the bill, those skeptics will likely worry more than ever that Democrats out-maneuvered the GOP members of the Gang of Eight.

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