Positive Signs from House on Commonsense Immigration Reform
The news that a bipartisan working group in the House of Representatives has reached an agreement in principle on immigration legislation, alongside the continued steady legislative progress on the Senate’s immigration bill, underscores our optimism about immigration reform’s prospects in 2013.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director ofAmerica’s Voice, “This is a major breakthrough. The simple fact that a bipartisan group in the House – one that includes several rock-ribbed conservatives, two Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, the Ranking Member of the Immigration Subcommittee and a red-state Democrat – has forged agreement on a reform package that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is nothing short of historic. We look forward to seeing the details of the House legislation and we will continue fighting for a bill with a path to citizenship that is inclusive and achievable.
“We congratulate the Group of Eight in the House of Representatives, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. John Carter (R-TX), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) for their leadership.
“Now it is up to Speaker Boehner and Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte to find a way forward. We hope they keep in mind that the fundamentals powering the drive for reform remain very strong. Immigration is a defining issue for Latino and immigrant voters. Many of these voters are willing to give Republicans credit for helping to pass reform and another look politically if they do. The immigration reform movement is strong, broad and deep, and getting more powerful by the day. The American people strongly support reform. And Democrats support bipartisan reform that includes elements Republicans want. The big question going forward is what choice Republicans in the Senate and House make. Are most going to follow their colleagues who are courageously standing up for reform or will most stay wedded to a dysfunctional status quo? The future of immigration reform and the GOP’s viability as a national party depend on them getting the answer right.”
Eliseo Medina, International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU):
“As momentum to enact commonsense immigration reform continues to grow, the news of an agreement in principle among the bipartisan group in the House is a welcome development and unprecedented. These members deserve credit for overcoming their differences and finding common ground that will help set the framework for immigration reform in the House.
“Despite this tentative agreement, it is the responsibility of the House leadership to make sure this bipartisanship continues and that a truly bipartisan and smart bill with a roadm
Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:
“The announcement by the House represents major progress and gives immigration reform remarkable momentum. Much work lies ahead in both houses of Congress, but the diverse House group’s willingness to come together is a strong sign of just how far we have come.
“Americans are ready for Congress to show its resolve and continue debating immigration reform in the bipartisan spirit that has prevailed so far. As the debate over the bill in the Senate continues to progress, the House group’s announcement marks an exciting step forward.
“We await the details of the House agreement and bill. The legislation needs a clear and fair road to citizenship, and it must recognize the importance of immigration to our economy, our families and our communities.
“The tide has turned. Political leaders in both houses and both parties are recognizing that we need broad immigration reform this year. They must continue to work together until reform is reality.”