Friday, August 2, 2013

Can't Ignore Them Forever

As Congress is about to break for August Recess, the fate of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is very much in doubt. Even though the Senate passed S 744 in June, House G-O-TEA "leaders" are letting Rep. Steve King (R-Crazytown) and Groundswell call the shots on killing CIR. Congress is about to go to August Recess, and the House hasn't passed any companion CIR legislation. Instead, the House voted in June to deport DREAMers.

This is why immigrant rights activists from across the nation descended upon Capitol Hill this week. And not only that, but 40 of those activists were arrested yesterday. Those arrested included PLAN State Director Bob Fulkerson and PLAN Board Chair Theresa Navarro.

As Navarro was arrested by Capitol police she said, "I'm here because I work with families every day who are hiding in the shadows...and their children are scared to even go to school because they're afraid their parents might be deported." [...]

America deserves a vote on immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Right now, if House leaders scheduled a vote on reform with a new roadmap to citizenship, a bipartisan majority of members in the House would vote for it. Part of democracy is letting the majority will express itself--not just Rep King's hysterically anti-immigrant caucus. It’s up to House Republican leaders – Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy – to do just that. [...]

Our movement is strong and getting stronger everyday. The support for reform comes from across the country and across the political spectrum. Our movement is comprised of immigrant, ethnic, labor, business, youth, and of course progressive groups. We will not stop until immigration reform is enacted. We believe that America works best when the “them” become “us” so that we are stronger.

We've seen plenty of letters written and delivered. We've had plenty of office visits. We've even heard plenty of pleasing sounding rhetoric. Yet now, just as Congress is about to go recess, House G-O-TEA "leaders" want to make sure Rep. Joe Heck and the rest of their members don't vote on CIR.

So now, activists are speaking up and getting loud. They won't let the House G-O-TEA get away with ignoring them and ignoring the will of the American people. They can't ignore the rest of the country forever.

This state and this nation stand to benefit from passage of CIR. Yet because the G-O-TEA faction cares more about ideological "purity" than doing what's best for this nation, we're stuck in this rut. However, we won't be stuck here forever. They can't ignore reality forever.

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