The Next Phase of Immigration Reform Advocacy?

Two themes are emerging at Netroots that I think are going to be critically important to civil and human rights over the next couple of years – a growing dissatisfaction among progressive advocates with the Democratic Party as the primary party to advance rights goals and outright anger at the lack of movement on comprehensive immigration reform.

There was a lot of progress that happened over the first 2.5 years of the Obama administration – a refrain that isn’t necessarily going over well with everyone here – but the lack of movement on comprehensive immigration reform combined with ramped up enforcement has infuriated progressive bloggers and advocates to a level that is palpable here.

But perhaps there is a way forward. In this morning’s panel on “Immigration and the Power of the Vote,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez suggested that advocates begin to think of immigration reform as a human rights issue of such significance that it must be divorced from the fate of either party.

Wade Henderson, president of The Leadership Conference, says all the time to me and my colleagues that civil and human rights are “inherently nonpartisan.” ┬áIt’ll be interesting to see if progressive advocates and bloggers take such a view to heart and embrace new strategies that don’t revolve around what either party will or will not do.