Capitol Alert: GOP donors urge House Republicans to support immigration bill

dsiders@sacbee.comJuly 30, 2013 

Immigration

Demonstrators rally in front of the White House in Washington on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, calling for immigration changes. The demonstrators urged President Barack Obama to use executive authority to expand the policy that allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to remain.

EVAN VUCCI — Associated Press

With a proposal to overhaul the nation's immigration policies apparently stalled in the House of Representatives, about 100 Republican donors and donor groups today urged Republican representatives to embrace a "path to legal status" for undocumented immigrants.

The letter writers include 14 donors and donor groups from California, who sent a separate, nearly identical, letter to House Republicans from the Golden State. The Californians include fast food executive Andrew Puzder, former San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan, venture capitalist David Hanna and the Lincoln Club of Orange County.

In their letter, the Republicans call for increased border security and a "path to legal status" for undocumented immigrants.

"Standing in the way of reform ensures that we perpetuate a broken system that stifles our economy, leave millions of people living in America unaccounted for, maintain a porous border, and risk a long-lasting perception that Republicans would rather see nothing done than pass needed reform," they write. "That is not the path for the Republican Party."

The U.S. Senate last month approved legislation that would pay for increased border security while creating a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The bill's prospects are dimmer in the House, where many Republicans oppose a pathway to citizenship for immigrants already in the country illegally.

The letter, paid for by Republicans for Immigration Reform, a super-PAC, follows similar appeals by Republican business interests, including in California. Many Republicans believe supporting an immigration overhaul is necessary to improve the party's prospects with Latinos.

The California donor letter concludes, "We firmly believe that with meaningful action on immigration reform, there is opportunity for both good policy and good politics for Republicans and all Californians."

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