No, comprehensive immigration reform is not dead. But there's no sugarcoating it—the clock is ticking on reform.
The Tea Party-led shutdown is holding Congress hostage, and since the bipartisan-supported immigration bill passed the Senate in June, right-wing lawmakers have been digging in their heels like spoiled 2-year-olds. Meanwhile, instead of bypassing Tea Party extremists with a discharge petition—which would force a vote—Democrats have been tip-toeing around them, effectively letting the ultra-right determine the outcome of reform.1
Throughout the summer and into the August recess, allies and MoveOn members took to the streets demanding that Congress take immediate action. Last week they finally showed some leadership and introduced an immigration bill similar to the bipartisan Senate bill, but with an important improvement, allowing aspiring Americans to seek citizenship while simultaneously increasing border security instead of waiting until the borders are secure for immigrants to seek citizenship.2
In other words: right now, there is a viable House bill for comprehensive immigration reform—and all that's needed is for Speaker Boehner to call for an up-or-down vote.
Let's be honest, Speaker Boehner is not going to do that, but there's currently enough support among House Democrats to start a discharge petition process—which is a way to force a vote with simple majority support, whether Speaker Boehner wants one or not.
Will you start a MoveOn petition asking your Democratic member of Congress to support a discharge petition?
A discharge petition is most likely to succeed with a bipartisan-supported House bill. Some House Republicans like Jeff Denham (CA-10) and David Valadao (CA-21) are breaking with the Tea Party stronghold to show their support for the bill. If we can get more Republican co-sponsors, then convince a simple majority of U.S. representatives to sign a discharge petition, immigration reform gets a vote—it's that simple.3
Will you start a petition urging your Republican member of Congress to co-sponsor the House comprehensive immigration reform bill?
Allies and MoveOn members fighting for immigration reform refuse to back down. Over the weekend, thousands gathered across the country, showing their support—and this week hundreds more gathered in Washington D.C., risking arrest, to demand that Congress put the government back to work and pass comprehensive immigration reform now.
Immigration reform would provide a much-needed stimulus to our economy, as well as a clear roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million people, including many who are suffering deportation because reform has not yet passed. Let's make sure that Congress doesn't torpedo immigration reform along with everything else—and that between now and the end of the year, lawmakers pass reform
Thanks for all you do.
–Mariana, Alejandro, Manny, Maria, and the rest of the team
1. "House Republicans would be foolish not to pass comprehensive immigration reform," The Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 2013
2. "Immigration reform, after all this?" The Washington Post, October 7, 2013
3. "House immigration bill—minus the surge," Politico, October 2, 2013
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