Democrats to GOP House: You Said You Support Immigration Reform

Image: Mike Coffman
Rep. Mike Coffman delivers a speech to Republican delegates at the state GOP Congress, in Boulder, Colo., Saturday April 12, 2014. Coffman is competing to be the Republican candidate to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall in November. Brennan Linsley / AP

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Immigration reformers are trying a new tactic to get a vote on legislation _ shaming.

Sponsors of the House Democratic comprehensive immigration bill are sending a memo to 30 Republicans tailored to each one with comments they’ve made individually supporting immigration reform and a personalized call for action:

“Now is the time for Rep. Mike Coffman to sign the discharge petition and demonstrate to the American people and the thousands living in Colorado that he wants to see the House of Representatives do the same,” states the memo fashioned for Coffman of Colorado.

Democrats filed a petition to get their comprehensive bill, H.R. 15, “discharged” from stagnation in the House and moved to the floor for a vote. They had 191 signatures as of Tuesday but need 218, but no Republicans have signed and eight of their own party members also have not signed the petition. The Democrats are not being sent a memo.

Democrats said in a conference call with reporters that with the memo and petition they have taken every possible step to resolve the immigration reform stalemate. But Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., warned that by not coming to the negotiating table, Republicans are creating the opportunity for President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to tackle some immigration problems, such as deportations.