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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Next Steps For Immigrants List In 2009

by Josh Gray

Throughout the 2008 election cycle immigrants' List gave to 13 candidates. Some were incumbents and some were in tough congressional races across the country. There were many of candidates to choose from however each candidate IL chose had to meet certain criteria that were approved by the board and members of IL. The criteria that the candidate had to meet were,

  1. How the candidate faired on immigration. IL will send the candidate out questionnaire for them to fill out. Depending on how the candidate fills out the questionnaire he or she will be recommended to receive support from IL. Please click on link to review questionnaire.
    http://www.immigrantslist.org/page/-/Immigrants%27%20List%20Questionnaire.pdf.
  2. How much money has the candidate raised? IL support candidates with cash on hand of more than half of million dollars. We have to make sure that the candidate is well equipped finically to win a serious competitive race.
  3. What is your viability? For instance, did you out raise your opponent last quarter? Are you up in the polls with the local newspaper? Are you down by less than 5%?

  4. Does your party have you on their target list of candidates that can win? Is your party putting money into your race? Are you gaining media coverage?

  5. How bad the opponent on Immigration was? Each candidate IL supported opponents were either voted or if elected was going to vote against any pro immigration legislative that was going to be presented to the house floor.

Who we supported in 2008 Election

Martin Heinrich (D) NM-01

Martin, a first time candidate, ran for an open seat against Darren White (R) and won! Martin is an advocate of positive Immigration reform and is an ally of pro-immigration organizations. IL will continue to educate Martin about immigration legislation as he joins the 111th Congress.

Kurt Schrader (D) OR-5th

Kurt ran an impressive campaign and defeated anti-immigration candidate Mike Erickson (R ) who self financed the majority of his campaign. We are looking forward to working with Kurt as he travels to Washington to fight for real immigration reform.

Ciro Rodriguez(D) TX-23rd

Ciro was re-elected by a close margin in a race against Lyle Larson. This win was great for the immigration community since Ciro is a huge voice for positive immigration reform in Congress.

Jeff Flake (R) AZ-06

Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Co-Sponsor of STRIVE Act.

Senator Ted Kennedy (D)

Senator Kennedy is Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, & Border Security.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D) CA-16th

Congresswoman Lofgren is Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

Congressman John Conyers (D) MI-14th

Congressman Conyers is Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Congressman Howard Berman (D) CA-28th

Congressman Berman is member of, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration & House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D) MA-06

Immigrants' List supported Congressional Candidate Niki Tsongas during her hard fought special election for Massachusetts 5th Congressional District. Tsongas showed an unwavering commitment to immigration reform despite relentless attacks by her opponent.

Dennis Shulman (D) NJ-05

Dennis Shulman (D) NJ-05 was a great candidate in an overwhelming Republican district but politicker.com this summer had it a 5 Republican district with anti immigration incumbent Scott Garrett. The percentage was not impressive for more than a three term incumbent. Dennis ran a great race but lost to Scott.

Bob Lord (D) AZ-03

Bob Lord was a new candidate on the political scene in Arizona fighting to oust John Shadeeg ( R ) not supportive of the DREAM ACT and was supported by anti-immigration organizations. Bob was able to raise more than 1million dollars for his campaign and was considered by the Democratic National Committee Red to Blue race. Bob was still able to gain the momentum to challenge John. All though Bob lost, he was able to bring pro immigration to the fore front of the minds of those who don't know the importance of real immigration reform.

Michael Skelly (D) TX-07

Michael ran for congress against incumbent John Culberson. Though a starch Republican district and a not so friendly incumbent on Immigration. Michael was able to gather a lot of support from the 7th district and also raised more than 2.5 million dollars in which 1 million was his own money. Though Michael lost, his pro-immigration stance made his opponent began to soften his positions on immigration and assume a more moderate stance.

Nick Leibham(D) CA

Nick ran against former lobbyist for FAIR Brian Bilbray. Nick ran an amazing campaign but lost by less than 4% of the vote.

What are the next steps for IL in 2009?

Now that Americans have a new administration, headed by a political party that is typically more receptive to positive immigration reform, Immigrants' List can capitalize on this change and re-motivate our base to give additional funds and become more involved in IL. Though Immigration will probably not be on the new administration's agenda within the first 100 days, IL can do several things to inform new and old congressional members about our stance on the immigration policies that are currently in place. For instance, IL can take the initiative to approach new members we have never given to and inform them of IL Civic Action's mission in hopes that when immigration does in fact become a part of the conversation in Washington, they will remember us and vote the "correct way" on immigration legislation. IL PAC will not be able to conduct this outreach but the 501(c) (4) we created can approach members so that we can lobby our issues. By holding meetings with members and or staffers, IL will able to expand its relationships on the Hill, and also be heard throughout the immigration community.

Though the election is over, we still need your help to maintain IL and its need to help Pro-immigration candidates. Please continue to inform those about the great work IL is doing and help contribute to IL as we go forward in 2009.


About The Author

Josh Gray is the Executive Director of immigrants' list, a non-profit organization established on 2006 with the group of immigration attorneys whose mission is to support pro-immigration candidates.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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