On Again/Off Again: Republican Inaction On Immigration Reform

Here’s a look at House Republicans’ on again/off again relationship with immigration reform:

In November 2012, after President Obama won re-election, Speaker Boehner said he was confident that he and the President could find common ground on immigration reform.

Months went by and the Republican-led House still hadn’t acted.

Speaker Boehner remained optimistic though. In May 2013, he said: “The House is going to work its will… and I’m confident we’ll have a solid work product that we can go to conference with the Senate.” Then the next month, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with a bipartisan vote of 68-32.

And in the Fall, House Democrats introduced H.R. 15, a comprehensive immigration reform bill similar to the Senate’s, and three House Republicans signed on as co-sponsors.

But Speaker Boehner refused to allow a vote on the House Floor.

Finally, in January 2014, Speaker Boehner announced House Republicans’ immigration principles – but just days later, he backtracked and pulled them from consideration.

In May, he admitted that the vast majority of his Members wanted to deal with immigration reform and said there’s nobody more interested in fixing the problem than him.

But more than one year after the Senate passed its bill, the House still has not been allowed to even debate immigration reform legislation.

Despite the fact that the majority of Americans – including Republicans – support comprehensive reform.

As do over thirty House Republicans… and the business community, labor, faith-based organizations, the tech community, agriculture community, and others.

But House Republicans continue to ignore the American people.

Not to mention the economic benefits that comprehensive immigration reform would yield, including boosting our economy and reducing the deficit by $900 billion over the next 20 years.

And don’t Republicans always say that they want to reduce the deficit?

With three weeks left before the House adjourns for August, time is of the essence for the House to take action. House Republicans should listen to the majority of the American people, the majority of the House, and the broad range of organizations who all support immigration reform.

And fix a system that everyone agrees is broken - which is not only the morally right thing to do, but will boost our economy, reduce the deficit, and strengthen America’s competitiveness. Isn’t that what we all want?

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