Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Senate’s bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. Unfortunately, a year later, House Republican leaders have done absolutely nothing to advance the Senate’s efforts even though there is a bipartisan House bill with over 200 co-sponsors waiting for action. In addition to the majority of Americans, over 30 House Republicans, numerous faith-based organizations, and hundreds of business leaders, several other communities spanning from agriculture to technology are also calling on House Republican leaders to work to fix our broken immigration system. Here’s a look at others demanding action:
FWD.us President Joe Green: “‘Both of [Majority Leader-elect, Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip-Elect, Rep. Steve Scalise] have indicated their support for fixing our fundamentally broken system multiple times,’ he wrote. ‘[A]s members of House GOP leadership, the pressure is on for them — along with Speaker [John] Boehner — to take action and bring reform legislation to a vote as soon as possible, so that we can boost our economy and do right by the millions of American families living in fear of separation.’” [The Hill, 6/23/14]
Intel Corporation Director of Immigration Policy Peter Muller: “Many earned advanced degrees from American universities. All are helping keep America’s innovation economy growing. And yet, because of a high-skilled immigration system badly in need of reform, we’re pushing them away.” [Roll Call, 6/6/14]
Internet Association President Michael Beckerman: “If America is to remain the global leader in Internet and tech innovation, we must ensure that we are able to attract, train, and retain the best minds in the world… Our current immigration system is broken. Ideally, each of our member companies would like to be able to retain the best and brightest minds without having to worry about visa caps and other restrictions.” [In the Capital, 5/7/14]
Compete America Executive Director Scott Corley: “Every few seconds of every business day, America loses another job that would have been created by a high-skilled immigrant who couldn’t get a work visa.” [The Hill, 3/19/14]
Service Employees International Union Chair of the Immigrant Justice Campaign Eliseo Medina: “It's time for the Republican leadership to decide if they will lead their party to stand on the right side of history and gain the vote of mainstream America and that of the fastest growing bloc of voters--Latinos--or block immigration reform and lead their party into national irrelevancy.” [Press Release, 6/11/14]
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “Without citizenship, it’s a nonstarter because you can’t fix a broken immigration system and create a vast class of millions of people living in the community and working in our workplaces without citizenship. You can’t do that. They have no rights. The labor unions are united. Our price of admission is citizenship. Republicans aren’t talking seriously until they start talking about citizenship, and that means a direct route to green cards and a real path to citizenship.” [Washington Post, 1/29/14]
Wisconsin Agribusiness Council President and CEO Ferron Havens: “Our nation’s broken immigration system is hindering our economic recovery. We need a system that allows our state to recruit more immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as retain foreign-born students at Wisconsin universities who will drive job creation and stimulate economic growth. The system is specifically broken for farmers who are producing below their capacity when they cannot meet their labor demands.” [Wausau Daily Herald, 6/20/14]
Washington Growers League Executive Director Mike Gempler: “We’re seeing a lack of response to our needs and concerns from significant parts of the Republican caucus in the House. They either have ideological issues or they are catering to a more reactionary crowd… If we don’t get this done by August recess, we’re going to be in trouble as an industry.” [Washington Post, 3/31/14]
Sunleaf Nursery President Bob Lyons: “This is not just a problem for American agriculture, but for the health and stability of our national economy as well. With common-sense, meaningful immigration reforms we can secure the future of the agricultural industry we all depend upon. It is time for the U.S. House of Representatives to take this issue seriously and pass these reforms this year.” [Cleveland.com Column, 3/10/14]
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman: “‘Status quo is not a viable option for anyone involved in this issue, and as a nation, we expect better. Over five years, an enforcement-only approach would lead to losses in farm income large enough to trigger large scale restructuring of the sector, higher food prices, and greater dependence on imported products,’ Stallman said. ‘With a reworked guest worker program, and by allowing skilled laborers to earn an adjustment of status, food prices remain stable and there are only marginal impacts on production.’” [USA Today, 2/10/14]
The proponents of comprehensive immigration reform are loud and clear in their support. The majority of Americans do not want to see another year of inaction go by and agree that it’s time for House Republicans to step up to the plate and work with Democrats to fix our broken immigration system.
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