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Office Hours/Google Hangout: House Immigration Reform Bill – H.R. 15

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office hoursRep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Advocates Discuss H.R. 15 and Upcoming Actions

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and immigration reform advocates held a Google+ Hangout hosted by America’s Voice to discuss the latest developments on immigration in Washington, DC and throughout the nation. This week, 120 Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration bill, H.R. 15, which includes bipartisan policy ideas drawn from Senate and House Homeland Security Committee legislation.  The introduction of this compromise legislation is intended to jumpstart the immigration debate in Congress and prod the Republican leadership to act in a bipartisan fashion to pass real immigration reform.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said:

Americans are tired of Congressional deadlock.  We saw bipartisan action on immigration in both chambers this year – now it’s time to finish the job. With the hard work and support of America’s Voice and likeminded advocates, we can make immigration reform a reality for the American people.

Immigration advocates continue ratcheting up the pressure for action on immigration reform. Tomorrow, October 5th, there will be 177 events across the country in 41 states to demonstrate the power and breadth of the pro-immigration reform movement and call on House Republican leadership to schedule a vote.

Said Silvia Chicas, Houston Coordinator for Mi Familia Vota:

Communities are hurting every day because of Congress’ inaction. In the same way that their inaction has led to the government closing, every day that they do not vote on an immigration bill, they are shutting down our nation’s immigration system. What they are putting at risk is the well-being of millions of mixed-status families living in this country, which affects us all.

Eddie Carmona, Campaign Manager, Campaign for Citizenship for the PICO National Network:

The bill released this this week is blended, bi-partisan legislation and we are thankful for the Democrats that are doing their part to help push this debate across the finish line.  It’s time for Republicans that support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship to do the same. We have spent a lot of time in the districts of Republicans like Reps. Denham and Valadao in California and know they have stated support for the principles put forward in this bill. They should help their constituents to come out of the shadows by coming out of the shadows themselves on H.R. 15. This is a legitimate vehicle for moving legislation through the House. We will continue to put pressure on Speaker Boehner, and Congressmen Cantor and McCarthy, to allow a vote and hope to have the help of House GOP supporters. Our families and faith communities have waited long enough.

On October 8th that pressure will come to Washington, DC where advocates will hold the “Camino Americano: Rally and Concert for Immigrant Dignity and Respect” on the national mall.

For months, Republican leadership has been saying that they will only bring an immigration bill to the floor that has support from a “majority of the majority.”  But with the government shut down this week, the nation has seen just how dysfunctional the so-called Hastert Rule has made Congress.  Even former Speaker Hastert himself has said that the majority of the majority is a goal, not a requirement, and that Republicans should work with Democrats to get important things done.

Said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director for America’s Voice:

The so-called Hastert Rule is really the Hastert Excuse, and even the Speaker it’s named after has criticized it.  Rules are made to be broken.  And immigration is one issue that Republicans can actually lead on if they are willing to work with Democrats.  After we emerge from the latest fiscal mess caused by Congress, House Republicans are going to have to show that they can govern again.  They will need to take immediate, bipartisan action on something they can actually get done.  That issue is immigration reform.  The pro-reform movement has the passion, commitment, and stamina to win this fight.  Today, we have the 218 votes necessary to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.  All we need is the will from Republican leadership to get it done.

  • If you’d like to watch a video of today’s Google+ Hangout, click here
  • For recordings and resources from prior Office Hours calls, click here
  • For more information on events happening on Oct. 5th, click here
  • For more information on the Oct. 8th “Camino Americano: Rally and Concert for Immigrant Dignity and Respect” in Washington, DC, click here