A national immigration score card released Monday shows members of the House of Representatives have earned a failing grade on immigration, with Republicans scoring the lowest.
The results of the score card for all 435 House members show Republicans averaged a failing score of 3 percent, while Democrats averaged a passing score of 90 percent. And while no House Republican got a perfect score of 100 percent, there were 63 Democrats who did. Overall, House members averaged a score of 43 percent.
Leaders from Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations as well as labor and Evangelical leaders unveiled the score card results during a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
After the 2012 election, Congress held out handfuls of pledges to enact immigration reform. However, opposition from anti-immigration extremists turned those hands into balled up fists, delivering stinging blows to the push for reform and immigrant families, the leaders said in a joint statement. Congress may try to ignore us and the immigration issue, but we will not.
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The groups involved with efforts to come up with the immigration score card include the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Mi Familia Vota, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Voto Latino.
Izzy Santa, the Hispanic communications director for the Republican National Committee, criticized the method used to calculate each Congress members scores.
By their own methodology their study fails its own merits and doesnt reflect accurately the true votes taken in the House, Santa said in an email to VOXXI. In this case, special interest groups have selected votes to favor their own agenda and their ratings do not paint an accurate view.
She noted that the score card did not take into account House committee votes on several immigration bills, like the SKILLS Visa Act or the Agricultural Guestworker Act. Instead, the scores were tallied based on how House members voted or acted on other immigration-related bills, like an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to defund the Obama administrations deferred action program that provides undocumented youth with deportation relief and work authorization.
The scores were also tallied based on how House members responded to the immigration reform bill, known as H.R. 15, that House Democrats introduced last October. House members were graded on whether they co-sponsored the bill or signed a discharge petition to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.
Now, the score card results will be used to show voters where House members stand on immigration as the November elections approach.
The 2014 National Immigration Score Card leaves no doubt who supported immigration reform and who worked against us, according to the joint statement. The American people support immigration reform and they will join us in sending a clear and unmistakable signal to Washington: Congress inaction fuels our action. The time is now for our communities to get engaged.
The release of the score card results come as President Barack Obama prepares to take executive action on immigration by the end of the summer. Over the last few months, his administration has been meeting with immigration advocates to hear what they think Obama should do with his executive authority to fix the immigration system.
On Monday, a group of advocated with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network demanded that undocumented immigrants be included in those meetings. They visited the offices of three national advocacy groups the Center for American Progress, National Immigration Forum and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to ask that they boycott meetings with the Obama administration until undocumented immigrants are invited to attend.
Afterwards, they rallied outside the White House, requesting that advocacy organizations respect their request for self-representation. They also asked organizations to respond to any calls to meet with Obama by asking him to meet with representatives from the undocumented community, people in detention or in deportations proceedings instead.
It simply makes no sense to for the President to convene meetings about us without us, said Rosi Carrasco, an undocumented leader from Illinois. If the President is committed to advancing a path to citizenship and political equality for immigrants, he must start by involving undocumented immigrants participation in policy decisions affecting our lives.