On Friday, it will be exactly one year since the Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill with strong bipartisan support. One year later, House Republican leaders have refused to take any action to fix our broken immigration system and have continued to ignore House Democrats’ calls to put H.R. 15, a bipartisan immigration reform bill, on the Floor for a vote. As House Republican leaders continue to avoid action on this critical issue, we can’t help but ask: What are they waiting for?
Strong, Broad Support for Reform
- The majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform:
- “Seventy-one percent of likely voters surveyed… said they back sweeping change to immigration laws. The support spans party lines: 64 percent of Republican respondents back comprehensive immigration reform, as do 78 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents.” [Politico, 5/19/14]
- Over 30 House Republicans have expressed their support for taking action on comprehensive immigration reform – meaning that, with Democratic support, reform legislation could pass the House if Republican leaders allowed a vote.
- Business leaders from around the country, including the presidents and CEOs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, AT&T, Inc., Microsoft, and Deloitte, have urged Congress to fix our broken immigration system.
- Numerous faith-based organizations, including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Southern Baptist Convention, have also joined in demanding House Republican leaders to act on comprehensive immigration reform, citing moral and humanitarian reasons.
Clear Economic Benefits
- The Congressional Budget Office projects that immigration reform would reduce the deficit by $900 billion over the next 20 years. [Roll Call, 3/25/14]
- The Congressional Budget Office has also said that reform would increase employment and raise wages. [Business Roundtable Report, June 2014]
- Immigration reform would boost gross domestic product by about 4.8% and productivity by 1% percent over 20 years, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. [Business Roundtable Report, June 2014]
- According to the Business Roundtable, immigrants are nearly 50 percent more likely to start a business than native-born workers, resulting in increased innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, immigrants or their children founded more than 40% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies. [Business Roundtable Report, June 2014]
Since the Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill nearly a year ago, House Republican leaders have put forth nothing more than empty rhetoric. It’s time for Speaker Boehner and incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to listen to the American people, their fellow Republicans, business leaders, faith organizations, and economic experts: the time is now to fix our broken immigration system.
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