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ICYMI: Editorial & Faith Voices See Through House GOP Excuses for Immigration Inaction

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National and local editorial boards and faith leaders are calling on House Republican leadership to drop the excuses and move immigration forward, citing policy, political, and moral reasons:

Wall Street Journal Criticizes “GOP Immigration Duck”: The Wall Street Journal editorial page has long advocated action on immigration reform.  Today, they highlight a recent study showing how the agriculture industry needs reform and blast conservative Republicans who are counseling a “GOP immigration duck.”  The editorial reads in part:

Republicans have killed immigration reform for now, but the Farm Bureau study shows that in the real economy it’s still needed.  The irony is that many Republicans who support handouts to farmers oppose reforms that wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime and would help the economy.

Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Express-Times Editorializes Against Speaker Boehner & Republican Excuses for InactionIn an editorial titled, “John Boehner, last man standing against immigration reform,” the Express-News of Lehigh Valley, PA writes:

House Speaker John Boehner’s about-face on immigration reform is the single biggest disappointment of the new year, coming from a Congress that put aside its differences to avoid another debt-ceiling meltdown…

Considering that 70 percent of the American people think immigration reform is needed now (including a path to legalization) — and that Hispanic voters are increasingly likely to reward Democrats for their position on the issue — Republicans are hastening their own demise here.  There’s still time for a reversal on legislation that would allow millions of people to come out of hiding, businesses to hire workers legally, and governments to reap the tax dividends. All it takes is one man’s consent.  If Boehner sticks to a one-note campaign of negativism, GOP moderates in the House should consider an overthrow — joining with Democrats to sign a discharge petition and bring the immigration bill to a vote. It would only take 17 Republicans to reclaim this issue as their own, give the economy a needed jolt and allow them to share in the credit for overhauling the nation’s embarrassing, inhumane status quo on immigration.

Raleigh (NC) News & Observer Editorial Board Supports Rep. Renee Ellmers’ Embrace of Immigration Reform:  Despite facing an anti-immigration primary challenger, Rep. Renee Elmers (R-NC) continues to support House action on immigration reform this year.  In an editorial titled, “Ellmers shows courage on immigration reform,” the News & Observer praises her leadership:

There really is no alternative to reform.  Do nothing?  The problems with having 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally – from educating their children to local law enforcement having to deal with deportation to the living conditions of some and the exploitation of others – will only get worse.  Congress has avoided doing anything meaningful about immigration for decades, and presidents who have tried to lead have typically given up after finding a lack of determination on Capitol Hill.  That Ellmers would even demonstrate an interest in doing something and offer general ideas about how to do it represents political courage.  It’s not something that an opponent with no ideas on true immigration reform should be using to attack her.  Surely, the primary voters of the 2nd District will not let themselves be so manipulated.

Faith Leaders Call on Eric Cantor and House GOP to Stop Delay and Move Immigration Reform Forward: As the Jewish Daily Forward highlights, last weekend in Richmond:

a group of pro-immigration Jewish activists, including past donors to Cantor’s campaigns, tried to send the No. 2 Republican in the House a message that immigration reform, shelved by his own party, is a Jewish issue he ought to be taking on.

Meanwhile, six faith leaders from the Chicago area co-author an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times calling out the House Republicans for blocking reform:

We encourage Speaker Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership to continue with their previous push to pass immigration reform. We encourage Illinois Republican Congressmen Davis, Hultgren, Kinzinger, Roskam, Schock and Shimkus to publicly support their party’s Standards for Immigration Reform and call for a debate and vote on reform. We encourage our Democratic Representatives to work constructively with their Republican counterparts to advance this issue in a bipartisan manner.  And we encourage religious leaders and people of faith to pray and advocate that our elected representatives will do what is best not for an individual political party, but for our country and all of the people that call it home.  To our elected officials: You have the support of our faith communities and the majority of American voters to pass immigration reform.  We are praying that you do not waste it.

As Republican Senator Dean Heller (NV) noted recently, the votes exist to pass immigration reform in the House today.  The only thing missing is the scheduling of the vote by Speaker Boehner and Republican leaders.  Barring that, Rep. Steve King’s amendment to deport DREAMers will be the only immigration action the House can point to during the 2014 elections and, potentially, 2016.