In Surprise Move, Tea Party Leader Lobbies For Immigration Reform

Is the tea party hopping on the immigration reform bandwagon?

While much of the conservative base mobilizes against “amnesty,” the co-founder of Tea Party Express, one of the largest tea party groups, is calling on Congress to pass immigration reform that includes a path to legalization for the 11 million people in the country unlawfully.

In an op-ed Wednesday for Roll Call titled, “Conservatives Need to Fix the Broken U.S. Immigration System,” Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo calls on Congress to “pass legislation that will fix our broken system,” describing it as an important ingredient to boosting the economy.

Russo endorses reforms to high-skilled visas to entice entrepreneurs as well as engineers and doctors because “we do not have the talent we need to fill the jobs.” He champions border security as “essential.” And he says the U.S. must bring the 11 million undocumented people “out of the shadows” and “get them right by the law in exchange for legal status, but not unbridled amnesty” after penalizing them and making them wait in line.

The Republican-led House isn’t expected to act on the Senate-passed immigration overhaul, in large part because the GOP’s tea party base has opposed more lenient immigration policies.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: