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Bipartisan House Accord Another Sign that 2013 is the Year for Immigration Reform

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The news that a bipartisan working group in the House of Representatives has reached an agreement in principle on immigration legislation, alongside the continued steady legislative progress on the Senate’s immigration bill, underscores our optimism about immigration reform’s prospects in 2013.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

This is a major breakthrough.  The simple fact that a bipartisan group in the House – one that includes several rock-ribbed conservatives, two Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, the Ranking Member of the Immigration Subcommittee and a red-state Democrat – has forged agreement on a reform package that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is nothing short of historic.  We look forward to seeing the details of the House legislation and we will continue fighting for a bill with a path to citizenship that is inclusive and achievable.

We congratulate the Group of Eight in the House of Representatives, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. John Carter (R-TX), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) for their leadership.

Now it is up to Speaker Boehner and Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte to find a way forward.  We hope they keep in mind that the fundamentals powering the drive for reform remain very strong.  Immigration is a defining issue for Latino and immigrant voters.  Many of these voters are willing to give Republicans credit for helping to pass reform and another look politically if they do.  The immigration reform movement is strong, broad and deep, and getting more powerful by the day.  The American people strongly support reform.  And Democrats support bipartisan reform that includes elements Republicans want.  The big question going forward is what choice Republicans in the Senate and House make.  Are most going to follow their colleagues who are courageously standing up for reform or will most stay wedded to a dysfunctional status quo?  The future of immigration reform and the GOP’s viability as a national party depend on them getting the answer right.