In the classic baseball movie Bull Durham, Kevin Costner’s eyes go misty as he talks about how great it was to be “in the show” (the major league) for 21 days before being kicked back down to minor league ball. Immigration reform was in the show this spring for 60 days or so, ending in June with the passage of S. 744. But then, well, it feels like we too have been sent back to the minors, with many pundits predicting that the House won’t get to immigration reform this year. Those who think that, however, should consider the major league/minor league analogy a bit more carefully.
We have to be ready, because when the show calls, it will be game time.
Today, minor league baseball operates as both a proving ground for the majors and as an entity in its own right. So does the work of immigration reformers. Just like in the minors, we have to be ready when opportunity calls. No one likes delay— especially when the consequences are more deportations, lost economic opportunities, and family separations—but the House’s delay is also an opportunity to grow stronger. The August recess was an excellent example of making good use of supposedly “lost” time. Many hoped the House would quickly take up immigration reform after the Senate vote, but when it was clear this wouldn’t happen, people put their energies into organizing a massive campaign to bring House Members on board. During the five weeks or so of recess, groups put together 1,194 events in 41 different states. More than 600,000 people signed a petition calling for immigration reform that was delivered to the Speaker of the House, and thousands of people visited and called their Members of Congress. Twenty-five House Republicans are now on record supporting legalization for undocumented immigrants that includes a path to citizenship. That work is paving the way to a better outcome than we might have seen in July. - See more at: http://immigrationimpact.com/2013/09/10/will-congress-be-ready-to-play-ball-on-immigration-reform/#sthash.ee9TlfCx.dpuf
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