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Pro-immigration reform PACs gaining in money, influence

MIAMI — Two fledgling political action committees that support allowing some illegal immigrants to become citizens are raising more money than their immigration-control counterparts, signaling a possible fundraising shift ahead of next year's congressional races.

Immigrants' List and ImmigrationPAC, both established less than four years ago, have raised $100,000 combined this election cycle. That's a relatively small amount in the influential realm of PACs but still more than established groups that back enforcement-only policies, who have seen donations slow to a trickle.

"Even a small amount of pro-immigration reform PAC money, pro-immigration muscle, makes it a two-sided debate," said Tamar Jacoby, who heads ImmigrationWorks USA, a federation of mostly small and medium businesses that support a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants and streamlining the employment visa process.

Allen Brandstater, head of the PAC Americans Against Illegal Immigration, acknowledged the changing mood. His group, which raised $850,000 during the 2008 election cycle for mostly issue ads and mailers, the most of any of the immigration PACs, is "pretty much dormant right now," he said. Brandstater blamed the lack of support on the weak economy and on President Barack Obama and the Democratic-led Congress, which he believes are more likely to back legalization.

Pro-immigration reform PACs gaining in money, influence 11/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:19pm]
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