On Thursday, May 29, congressional Republicans took another giant step backwards, by affirming their support for Congressman Steve King (R-IA) as their leader on immigration reform. King has in the past attempted to cause the mass deportation of immigrants, including DREAMers, families, workers and immigrants with long ties to this country -- the same people that the House claims they want to help.
Congressman King is well-known to oppose comprehensive immigration reform and continues to lead the House Republicans away from finding a solution that will allow undocumented workers here in the United States to live, work and pay taxes legally. As long as Republicans let the extremists within their party dictate the direction of policy, we will not see comprehensive immigration reform.They continue to waste our time focusing on deportation while comprehensive immigration reform, which enjoys widespread popular support, waits for their action.
Supposed moderates like Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), have chosen to follow the radicals in the House GOP. Reichert has chosen not to co-sponsor any Republican immigration bill, nor will he support the discharge petition of H.R. 15 that would bring this bill up for a vote in the House. Comprehensive immigration reform demands leadership. The supposed moderates in the GOP have failed to answer the call. While the country demands action, the GOP fails to deliver.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus chairman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) highlighted this in a statement: "This is simply inexcusable and does nothing to fix our broken immigration system. Today's amendment is a waste of taxpayer money and another attack on young Dreamers and the immigrant community. If Speaker Boehner and House Republicans truly want to reform our immigration system, they must allow a vote on HR 15 now."
Congressmen Hinojosa's is right. For comprehensive immigration reform to become law, the uncompromising Republican Party, including Steve King, Speaker Boehner and Dave Reichert, must be held accountable by their constituents. If we want to see comprehensive immigration reform become law, we must elect a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives this fall.