Rep. Gutierrez, Immigration Reform Advocates See Path Forward

July 11, 2013

Download a recording of today’s call.

Washington, DC – On a call with press today, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) joined immigration reform advocates to discuss this week’s meetings and the path forward for immigration reform in the House of Representatives.

“Everyone knows the votes are there in the House if democracy rules and the majority rules. There are dozens of Republicans who will join almost all of the Democrats who are ready to pass a bill if the Speaker allows it. Give us a 15 minute vote on the floor and we will stimulate the economy, restore basic fairness, eliminate the black market, and get millions of families on the right side of the law,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) who is embarking on a tour in which he’ll visit GOP Congressional Districts to build bipartisan support for immigration reform.

In addition to internal efforts by members of Congress like Rep. Gutierrez, immigration reform advocates have ratcheted up the pressure on the House to act. Groups held events and actions on Capitol Hill and throughout the country yesterday, urging Speaker Boehner and Republicans in the House to bring immigration reform with a path to citizenship for a vote.  Advocates are planning more activities for the coming weeks and months.

Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO, Church World Service said, “Yesterday’s meeting of the House of Representatives was a good step. Speaker of the House John Boehner along with other friends in the Republican leadership made clear that inaction is not sustainable; and that an extremist anti-immigrant minority will be met by voices seeking a sensible approach forward. We need clear, bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform in the House – just like the Senate. We not only need a vote, but one that is a sign of good conscience and compassion.”

“The need for immigration reform is urgent and the expected benefits to our economy are great. Any attempt by the House to stall on this important priority for voters will be watched closely – especially by voters from immigrant, Latino, and Asian American communities who marched to the polls last year in support of commonsense immigration reform,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director, National Immigration Law Center.

“Asian Americans want comprehensive immigration reform because they know this is a complex system that must be fixed in a holistic way,” stated Jacinta Ma, deputy director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, AAJC. “Members of the House of Representatives should not thwart the will of the American people, who have spoken loud and clear for a comprehensive bill. The time is now for Congress to act.”

Ramon Ramirez, executive director, PCUN Oregon Farmworker Union said, “As a member of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, PCUN is also part of the coalition’s ‘No More, No Mas’ campaign where FIRM is targeting 7 House leadership targets and 4 so-called purple districts where our communities and voters can swing a district. We are asking House GOP members to come out of the conservative shadow of their party and take a strong position in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.  And FIRM has issued an August 2nd deadline for the House to pass a bill containing a path to citizenship.”

“Immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship solves a problem that has haunted us for too long, and enjoys the support of the vast majority of the American people, of all faiths and political stripes,” said Clarissa Martinez, director, immigration, NCLR. “The question has been called—will the House leadership give America the vote it deserves, or will they squander this opportunity for the sake of divisive politics?  The choices they make on this issue will shape the political map of Latino voters for years to come, but Latinos are not alone.  Every facet of mainstream America is represented in the forces pushing for a solution:  agriculture, high tech, business, labor, religious groups, law enforcement, conservatives and progressives.  It is time to set excuses aside—restoring the rule of law requires comprehensive reform.”

This week’s meetings represent a turning point in the battle for immigration reform with a path to citizenship. It is now clear that there is a path forward for immigration reform in the House of Representatives and the immigrant movement will continue putting pressure on Republican leadership to bring up immigration reform for a vote and pass a bill that is a real solution and will put 11 million people on a path to citizenship.