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This weekend, Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) announced his plans to cosponsor HR 15, a broad immigration reform bill that includes numerous policies supported by Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate. Rep. Denham broke the news on the Sunday political talk show “Al Punto” on Univisión. Today, Rep. Denham and Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL), the bill’s lead Democratic sponsor, discussed this exciting development and the future of immigration reform in the House in a conference call with reporters.
Said Rep. Denham:
We can’t afford any more delays. The time is now for real and effective immigration reform that creates a path to earned citizenship for people who want to contribute to the greatness of America. We are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. Reforming our broken system will help us build a stronger and healthier economy for generations to come, and the American people deserve a real solution.
“I want to thank Congressman Denham for his leadership on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Rep. Garcia. “I look forward to working with him to build support for H.R. 15 so that we can get comprehensive immigration reform done in this Congress and look forward to working with Rep Denham to bring on more Republican colleagues in the days to come.”
Denham is the first Republican in the House to cosponsor the bipartisan policy bill, HR 15, but he is not the only Republican to support a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who aspire to become Americans. At least 29 GOP members have stated support for a path to citizenship publicly, while others have indicated private support. As a new NDN analysis makes clear, immigration reform has enjoyed a long history of Republican support. It’s clear that the time is now to pass commonsense immigration reform in the House of Representatives.
Adriana Hernandez, Leader with PICO California federation Congregations Building Community in Modesto, California, said:
We thank Rep. Denham for standing up for families and co-sponsoring H.R. 15. It takes courage to be the first one amongst his colleagues. Now we urge him to continue pressuring his colleagues, including Speaker Boehner, to not only co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation, but to push for a vote before the end of 2013. We will continue working in communities to educate voters. We will not rest until we stop families from being torn apart because of a broken immigration system.
During a local press conference organized by PICO California in Modesto today, a plane carrying the banner “Thanks Rep. Denham! #HR15” flew over Rep. Denham’s district office. Photos of today’s fly-over are available here.
Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director at America’s Voice, said:
We call Members of Congress ‘leaders’ for a reason, and this is it. This is leadership. In a time of hyper-partisanship, Rep. Denham’s co-sponsorship is proves once again that immigration reform is the rare issue that has support across party lines. But we can’t stop here. We need to see many more Republicans cosponsor this bill, and we need Republican leadership to schedule a vote. The House of Representatives can pass broad, bipartisan immigration reform that moves us forward as a nation this year, but they need to take action.