Despite the government shutdown earlier this month, our elected officials have been hard at work on comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, H.R. 15, a comprehensive immigration reform bill based on the bipartisan legislation that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year, was introduced in the midst of the shutdown.
Rep. Jeff Denham of California has just announced that he is signing on as a supporter of H.R. 15., becoming the first Republican in the House to publicly announce his support for the bill, and he is the first House Republican to join the 183 Democratic co-sponsors of the bill.
In an interview on Univision’s “Al Punto” on Sunday, Denham called the Democratic legislation unveiled earlier this month a “good solution” and said he was encouraging – and expecting – other House Republicans to come on board with the bill.
“The most important part of this is, this is a hot issue,” Denham said, according to an English-language translation of the interview. Denham spoke in Spanish. “We need to make sure that we have the entire country focused on this debate, so the more Republicans and Democrats we can come together on this, it’ll increase our chances of getting a full bill passed in the House.”
This is a huge turning point in the push for immigration reform and it shows that there is true, bipartisan support in the House for reform. There are now at least 28 Republicans in the House that have publicly announced their support for immigration reform. Everyone knows we have the votes in the House to pass immigration reform this year.
The next step will be for us all to reach out to our elected officials and ask that they join Rep. Denham in supporting the immigration reform bill brought forward by House Democrats, so that we can move forward on a vote before the end of the year.