Feb. 18, 2013
Major donors from both sides of the aisle are pouring big money into the campaign for an immigration overhaul, as Republicans play political catch-up and Democrats set out to leverage record Latino campaign fundraising in 2012.
Democratic and Republican immigration advocates are raising money from separate pots, but their allies are increasingly working together. An immigration overhaul appeals to Republicans both for business and political reasons, said Henry Cisneros, the housing secretary under former President Bill Clinton, and co-chairman of a new task force on immigration set up by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The other task force co-chairmen are ex-Bush Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, former Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour and ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat.
“The Republican Party doesn't want to get pigeonholed as anti-immigration and anti-Latino,” said Cisneros, who also helped found the New America Alliance, a Latino business initiative, and the Latino Donor Collaborative, a project spearheaded by businessman Sol Trujillo that has set out to debunk myths about Latinos and boost their social, political and economic profile. “That’s not a healthy place for the Republican Party.”
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Immigration Task Force