On Immigration Reform: Enough With the Excuses

100 women advocates risked arrest to show their support for immigration reform.
100 women advocates blocked traffic outside the Capitol, and were arrested this past fall to protest the inaction on immigration reform.

Latinos, Republicans, and editorial pages are pushing back on the excuses made by House Republican leadership.

We have heard Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy hem and haw over whether they are going to introduce legislation for months.  First they were only going to move legislation forward if they could garner the support of the majority (even though there are enough votes in the House to pass legislation).  Then they suggested that immigration reform should wait until next year.  Now their latest excuse is that they simply can’t trust the president to enforce our immigration laws.  Really?

Let’s take a closer look at immigration enforcement. Under President Obama, the budget for immigration enforcement has skyrocketed to about $18 billion.

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403x403_Immigration-Valentines-day-share-graphic_finalAnd that funding is being put to use.  Since the president has taken office, nearly two million undocumented immigrants have been deported.  In fact, between July 1, 2010 and September 30, 2012, the Obama administration deported 204,000 parents of U.S. citizens. The numbers don’t lie—President Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other president in this country’s history.

The “widespread doubt” that Republicans have over whether the president  will enforce our immigration laws is nothing but an excuse.  The reality is that more families than ever before have been torn apart because House Republican leadership would rather continue with political gamesmanship than pass legislation that the majority of Americans want and that our country needs.

We are tired of excuses.  We want solutions.  And we are not willing to wait another year.  Conservative pundits such as George Will are making the case to Republican leadership for action this year.  John Feehery, who worked for former Speaker Dennis Hastert, stated, “Demographic changes will only get worse for Republicans unless we change the party’s attitudes towards immigrants and immigrants’ attitudes toward the party.  And that can’t happen until we fix our broken immigration system.”

woman with sign

Editorial pages across the country are also fed up with the excuses and urging House Republican leadership to act.  Meanwhile, polls continue to show that American voters, both Democrats and Republicans, support immigration reform with a road to citizenship.

So excuses aren’t going to cut it, and it would be in the best interest of the Republican House leadership to demonstrate that they can work in a bipartisan fashion by moving immigration reform this year.

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