Photo: H.R. 15 Immigration Reform
Today several Congressional Democrats gave a lifeline to immigration reform when they introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House. The proposed legislation, H.R. 15, is based on the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Rep. Joe Garcia of Florida, one of the bills sponsors, noted “For the past year, Americans all over our great country have sent Congress a clear, simple message – the time to fix our broken immigration system is now. While the Senate heard this message loud and clear, the House of Representatives unfortunately has yet to take up any immigration bill on the floor. The only way immigration reform passes in the House is if Democrats and Republicans compromise. That is why today we are introducing – not the perfect immigration reform bill – but a compromise bill that we hope provides a path forward in the House.”
The House bill eliminates the $46 billion “border surge” portion and replaces it with a bipartisan border security package authored by the House Homeland Security Committee in May. The bill also failed to include a proposal that would eliminate citizenship obstacles for some of the youngest immigrants who entered country illegally with their parents.
The proposed House bill is viewed by many as an important effort to keep the issue of immigration reform at the forefront while Congress is distracted with Syria and now the government shutdown. The bill is not likely to pass but the bills’ sponsors hope it can be a rallying cry to get House Republicans to move on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform.