While the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on June 27, 2013, with bipartisan support, the effort to create a roadmap to citizenship has come to a screeching halt in the Republican controlled House, and further action is not expected until after the August Congressional recess.
Despite having a bipartisan majority in the House which supports reform, Republican House leadership has made it clear that they will not allow a vote on the Senate bill. By blocking a vote, House leaders are contradicting our democratic principles and ignoring the will of the American people who overwhelming support a commonsense path to citizenship.
Instead, the House leadership is calling for a patchwork of bills that will likely exclude key provisions and seriously undermine reform efforts. A derailment of immigration reform not only hurts those who aspire to become American citizens, but it hurts our country which will continue to face the detrimental effects of having approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants within our borders.
Supporting immigration reform makes sense both economically and morally. Creating a path to legal immigration would put an end to undocumented immigrants being oppressed and used to keep wages down. The CBO forecasts that reform would reduce the federal deficit by $685 billion over 10 years. The Center for American Progress estimates that reform would add $1.5 trillion to the economy over 10 years. Our nation was built by immigrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Procrastinating reform will solve nothing. The time for action is now. Together, we can give hope to millions who aspire to the American dream as well as build a stronger nation for all in the process.
To learn more about why immigration reform makes sense for America and its workers, visit the “Citizenship Now” immigration section at www.aflcio.org.