Not wanting to be caught unprepared, news organizations write obituaries of famous people long before they are needed leaving blank the manner of death, with plans to add the (fingers crossed!) salacious details when the inevitable day arrives. But every once and while, there is a mistake and someone is reported to have died when they are very much alive.
This is what is happening in the press right now with immigration reform. The departure of Representatives Sam Johnson and John Carter – both Republicans from Texas – from the bipartisan House Gang working on immigration reform bill has created the opportunity to prematurely announce of the death of immigration reform this Congress.
But, no matter what is being said in the press, the reports of the death of immigration reform have been greatly exaggerated.
The truth is all sides agree that the U.S. immigration law is broken and must be fixed. There are unprecedented agreements between labor and business, agricultural workers and growers, as well as many others, on key provisions to be included in a reform package. Polling shows a majority of Americans favor comprehensive immigration reform. Furthermore, conventional wisdom is that there are enough votes in the House to pass immigration reform if there was a vote. And that’s what we need – the House leadership to schedule votes on immigration bills.
The Senate did its part on June 27, passing the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) with a clear majority. This August, the American people did their part while proving the naysayers wrong when thousands spoke out in favor of immigration reform with rallies, marches, and direct contact with their members of Congress, utterly overshadowing the few individuals seeking to stop reform. It is time for the House members to do their part.
We are part of a movement to create an immigration system that will work for this country. We have come too far this Congress to give up now. It is up to us to keep the momentum going until there is a permanent fix to our broken immigration system. We must remind the House of Representatives that immigration is about our families, our communities, our institutions of higher education – it’s about our future as a nation. And the hope of creating a better future for us all can never die.
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