They're pointing to comments in the past few weeks from a handful of House Republicans, including Reps. Daniel Webster of Florida, Aaron Schock of Illinois and Dave Reichert of Washington, indicating qualified support for eventual citizenship for immigrants here illegally. So far, though, such comments have not become too widespread, and it's uncertain they'll add up to a real impetus for action in the fall.
But immigrant activists who'd been concerned that this summer could be a repeat of the last immigration fight — or of 2009, when irate voters trashed Obama's health care bill at unruly town hall meetings across the country — are starting to breathe easy.
The Stop Amnesty Tour event Aug. 12 in Richmond was to have been followed by events in other states, several of which subsequently disappeared from the Tea Party Patriots' website, according to an archived version circulated by the pro-immigrant group America's Voice. Organizers said most were going forward or rescheduled and disputed the claim by America's Voice that events were being canceled due to lack of interest.
"I think that when I heard about what happened at the Richmond event, we just look at what can we do to improve going forward, and one thing would be to give people more than 72 hours' notice," said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. The group is working on the events with others, including NumbersUSA, which advocates lower immigration levels.
The Black American Leadership Alliance, which opposes allowing more immigrants into the country to compete for jobs, canceled a series of rallies, according to cached copies of Facebook postings collected by America's Voice. But Leah Durant, the group's founder, said those events were being held by local groups and the Black American Leadership Alliance was just trying to help support them.
"When I look at the focus of what's going on, I wouldn't say that there's no enthusiasm," Durant said. "I hear from people every day who say they are very concerned about this."
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