WASHINGTON — The supporters of immigration reform who flanked the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” as they offered their immigration plan made for strange bedfellows, pairing the some of the loudest conservative activists with some of the most liberal.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was present, and he stood next to none other than Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Also present was Neera Tanden, present of the liberal Center for American Progress, along with Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of the SEIU.
On the opposite side of the aisle, but behind the same podium, was US Chamber of Commerce executive Vice President for government affairs, Bruce Josten.
Sen. John McCain, one of the authors of the bill, acknowledged that the group of people standing behind the podium were not often seen together.
“I never thought I’d be standing with Richard Trumka,” he said, to laughs. But, he said, that broad bipartisan support was why he believed the bill would succeed.
The immigration reform bill was penned by a bipartisan group of eight senators: Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and Marco Rubio, and Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez, and Michael Bennett.