Organizing for Action, the grassroots lobbying machine built from President Obama’s campaign operation, will hold dozens of rallies accross the country on May 2 in support of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, according to the group’s website. Activists plan to gather at the state offices (and several Washington, D.C. offices) of lawmakers from both parties, and urge them to support the Gang’s proposal, which is scheduled to be marked up in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
What kind of impact OFA’s involvement could have remains to be seen, but so far the group has proved far less influential than initially predicted. For example, OFA’s considerable lobbying effort in support of stricter gun-control policies failed to produce legislative results in Congress. The president himself has, for the most part, stayed on the sidelines of the immigration debate (although he did mention immigration in his speech last week at the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremony). Many assume that winning Republican support for the bill will be even more difficult if Obama is seen as aggressively touting the Gang’s plan.