Bipartisan Support for Immigration Reform Strengthens During August Recess
Julie Chavez Rodriguez
04:50 PM EST
As members of Congress go home to their districts for the August recess, they are hearing directly from Americans of all political stripes who are calling for a vote on commonsense immigration reform. In hundreds of town hall meetings, business roundtables, vigils, pilgrimages and rallies across the country, supporters of immigration reform including evangelicals, business owners, labor and law enforcement leaders, are asking their representatives to pass legislation to fix our broken immigration system as soon as they return to Washington in September.
Pro-reform supporters are making waves across the country as they continue to build momentum for immigration reform. The broad coalition of constituents who support reform is stronger and more bipartisan than ever. They have a clear message: Congress must work to fix our immigration system as soon as members return to the Capitol this fall.
In a meeting last week with the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Representative Jeff Denham, a Republican lawmaker from California, expressed his support for moving commonsense immigration reform legislation in the House: “I thought we'd get this done before the August work period. I think the Senate made tremendous progress. It was done bipartisan [sic] and I thought that would be enough to get the House moving forward."
Both Senator Richard Durbin and Representative Bill Foster, Democratic lawmakers from Illinois, met with local Aurora business and community leaders to talk about the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, describing it as a “compromise” and stating that comprehensive legislation must include a “tough but fair” path to citizenship.
During a discussion with other Republican governors in Aspen, Colorado during the last week of July, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie voiced support for immigration reform “Allowing the system to continue in the broken way that it is now is negative for America’s economy and it’s also bad for these folks who now have had children in this country and some of them grandchildren in this country," which demonstrates that support for immigration reform comes from both sides of the political aisle.
This is just a snapshot of the meetings that lawmakers are having with their constituents all over the U.S – the message is clear, a majority of Americans want to see their Representative address the issue of immigration reform.
Events discussing the positive economic benefits for immigration reform continue to take place across the country. Just today, the Bibles, Badges and Business kicked off a South by Southwest (SXSW) conference with a panel of CEOs to discuss the importance of immigration reform to the business community. This panel, attended by over 1,500 tech entrepreneurs is part of an ongoing discussion on how immigration reform will help grow our economy and create jobs.
The White House and the Administration are also part of the growing chorus of voices making the case for commonsense immigration reform. Last week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker hosted a roundtable with business leaders in Des Moines, Iowa to highlight the economic benefits of fixing our immigration system.
This summer, the White House released a series of reports that add to the mounting evidence demonstrating that fixing our immigration system and creating an earned path to citizenship would add a big boost to our economy, strengthen Social Security, and modernize our legal immigration system to make it more consistent with our values. Reports include the economic case for immigration reform, detailing how it impacts each state as well as the agricultural community.
As support continues to grow from the American people, the White House and the President will support bipartisan efforts in the House of Representatives to pass this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.