Republicans Back Immigration Reform while their Leadership Blocks Progress

In another attempt to ignore the mounting pressure to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, House Republican leaders are set to block an immigration amendment from one of their own members – the ENLIST Act – from being considered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. From Roll Call:

“Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., promised earlier this year he would force a floor vote on legislation to create a legal status pathway for illegal immigrants who served in the military — but GOP leadership intends to thwart that plan.”

“The news is a blow to proponents who saw the ENLIST Act as an opportunity to do something affirmative on immigration while a complete overhaul of the flawed system remains in an indefinite holding pattern on Capitol Hill.”

Leadership may have put the brakes on Denham’s efforts to avoid a politically loaded vote for members in an election year.

We find their inaction on this issue particularly interesting in light of the results of a Politico poll released today, which hammers home the point that comprehensive reform enjoys broad bipartisan support:

“Seventy-one percent of likely voters surveyed — and nine of 10 Hispanics — 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.”

“Asked how important the issue was to determining which candidate to vote for, 85 percent of Hispanic voters called it ‘important’ while 53 percent said it was ‘very important.’ Seventy-four percent of white voters and 58 percent of African American voters called it important.”

The numbers are in, and the support is clear. So when will the House GOP leadership stop putting politics over policy?