Coalition presses for immigration reform

Dec. 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A coalition of unions and Hispanic groups plans to lobby for immigration reform that includes a chance for illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens.

Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, said at a Washington news conference that the November presidential election has given the issue new life. President Obama's strong showing among Hispanic voters has been credited with winning him a second term.

"We've only scratched the surface," Murguia said. "We intend to continue to build that power. To grow that power. And now we intend to use it to advance comprehensive immigration reform."

Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union said the coalition plans to work on both parties. Some Republicans have said the party needs to be more open to giving illegals a way to change their status.

"We welcome everyone into this battle," Medina said. "Republicans and Democrats. By God, maybe they can get a Kumbaya moment," referring to a 1960s folk song.

Medina said members of Congress who "work against us or simply sit by idly" could pay a price in the mid-term elections.

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