Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who started a political action committee, Republicans for Immigration Reform, organized more than 100 business leaders, who sent a letter today to Republican members of Congress urging for immigration reform with a path to legalization.
“Immigrants are often entrepreneurial, family-minded, and guided by faith. These are Republican values,” says the letter, according to the New York Times. “These are Republican values.” The GOP donors urge Congress to provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, provide a way for U.S. companies to hire the workers they need while making it “impossible” to hire undocumented workers, and to secure the border.
“Doing nothing is de facto amnesty,” the influential Republican donors say.
“What tends to happen during the month of August is that members go home and they go to town hall meetings and they check up on their offices in terms of phone calls and letters, and that’s where they get bombarded,” said Gutierrez in an interview. “So Republicans who are for immigration reform — and I believe there are many — we need to make our voice known in August.”
The donors who signed the letter include Republicans such as Karl Rove, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and business leaders such as the founder of Staples, Tom Stemberg.
Gutierrez, who was an influential Republican under the Romney campaign but went on to criticize the party’s rhetoric and stance on immigration, recently wrote an opinion piece on The Hill about the GOP need to support reform.
“And as an immigrant and proud lifelong Republican who came to America in search of opportunity, I can tell you that the only things perhaps more outdated than our immigration system, are the nonsensical and misguided statements espoused by some extremist elements of my own party,” wrote Gutierrez recently.
Immigration advocates are putting pressure on House leaders, though it is expected that the House will not vote on any immigration bills until they come back from summer break – meaning votes possibly in September or October.