Immigration reform activists threaten payback; promise ‘constant confrontations’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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According to the Arizona Republic’s Dan Nowicki, at a press conference Tuesday, members of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) threatened to seek retribution against Republicans who blocked immigration reform efforts this year.

“‘Persuasion only goes so far, and now, with Speaker Boehner casting doubt that he can actually deliver immigration reform, FIRM is switching tactics from persuasion to punishment,’ said Kica Matos, director for immigrant rights and racial justice at the left-leaning Campaign for Community Change.”

“So, let me just be clear about one thing: From now on, any lawmaker who does not support comprehensive immigration reform should expect relentless and constant confrontations that will escalate until they agree to support immigration reform.”

…”No Republican is safe,” Matos reportedly said.

According to the report, Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-reform organization America’s Voice, also added this: “We prefer it to be legislative. We prefer it for Republicans to share the credit … But if they squander the opportunity, we’re going to insist on President Obama to take immediate action.

(Emphasis mine.)

You can read Nowicki’s full report here.

From an immediate electoral standpoint, Republicans have little to fear. But the danger is that the radicalization of the issue and the activists will make it even harder for conservatives to support immigration reform. And that, of course, would have long-term ramifications. Whether that’s a likely unintended consequence — or by design — is unclear.

Matt K. Lewis