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House Dems, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Work to Bring HR 15 to House Floor

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Below is a statement from the Florida Immigrant Rights Coalition commending Rep. Ros-Lehtinen for standing with immigrant families:

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen voted with her conscience yesterday when she cast her vote to include HR 15 in the budget resolution….On behalf of women, families, and for the future of this country, we urge Rep. Ros-Lehtinen to sign on to the bipartisan immigration discharge petition and to urge her colleagues to bring a vote on citizenship to the House floor. Latino, Asian, and immigrant families are counting on leaders like her who are above the partisan games that are happening in DC to bring a permanent solution and end our immigration crisis once and for all.

House Republicans are continuing to block immigration reform from coming to the floor, but House Democrats to their credit are continuing to push the issue.  And now, one Republican — Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida — is joining them.

Today, Reps. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO) once again tried to bring an immigration reform amendment to the floor, offering a series of parliamentary inquiries during debate of the Paul Ryan budget.  The attempt follows yesterday’s push (with Rep. Joe Garcia) to attach the amendment to the Ryan budget resolution in Rules Committee, which was struck down.  Notably, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen broke from her party yesterday to vote in favor of the attachment.  A similar amendment was voted down in the Budget Committee last Wednesday.  Last month, Rep. Polis forced a vote on the “previous question,” which saw every House Republican voting against HR 15 coming to the House floor.

Today’s immigration amendment was not accepted, and like previous attempts before it, did not succeed in bringing HR 15 to the House floor.  But these tactics serve as repeated reminders that House Republicans have done nothing on real immigration reform.  The Ryan budget will continue to be debated throughout the week with a final vote on Thursday, and a number of Democrats will continue to push immigration reform in response.  For example, the Democratic alternative budget from Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and a few of the other substitute budgets (there are five in total) include HR 15, though these alternatives are expected to fail.

These Democrats — and Ros-Lehtinen — should be applauded for leaning into the issue, and should continue to lean in.  We also hope Ros-Lehtinen will do more to push immigration reform on the House floor.  For example, she could be the first Republican to sign the HR 15 discharge petition.  And, she could remind Speaker Boehner of the reasons why the GOP needs immigration reform to pass, and let him know that the Latino and immigrant communities are tired of the House Republicans’ continuing excuses for not taking action.