Hope for Immigration Reform in 2013

 

Guest Blog by Daniel Z. Bean

Supporters of immigration reform were thrilled when the US Senate passed a bipartisan bill this summer, but House republicans have balked at the idea that they’ll be voting on the Senate bill, insisting that a path to citizenship is out of the question. And now with two time-sensitive political issues topping the agenda—diplomacy regarding Syria and a deadline to approve a new federal budget—it seems that they won’t be introducing legislation any time soon.

However, hope for a vote this fall has not yet faded away. Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, addressed the prospect with his own vow to push forward. He told the New York Times last week, “We’re gearing up for late October — we’re going to push really hard for votes this fall.” Additionally, this week women’s groups staged protest in Washington D.C., which drew national attention and led to more than a hundred arrests.

House republicans have good reason to pass a comprehensive answer to the Senate bill sooner rather than later. Support for legislation which includes a path to citizenship is at an all-time high: according to a July 2013 Gallup Poll, almost 90% of Americans are in favor of providing one. Americans also support increases in border security and the creation of more work-related visas for immigrants. It’s in our best interest to push for action before next year’s election, when some House representatives may begin courting their conservative base with bleaker options for reform.

The Senate has done its part, now it’s up to the House of Representatives and President Obama to serve Americans faithfully and give us the immigration reform we are asking for.

Sources:

Preston, J. and Shear, M. “Immigration Reform Falls to the Back of the Line.” NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/09/us/politics/immigration-reform-falls-to-the-back-of-the-line.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Immigration. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1660/Immigration.aspx