In the last few months, Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Eric Cantor, and others have been doing everything they can to block immigration reform. And if immigration reform doesn’t pass this year, it will be their fault, plain and simple.
Yet we have an opportunity now to break through the partisan gridlock and stop the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives from holding reform hostage.
A discharge petition (HR 15) is our best chance to force the Speaker’s hand and move legislation to the floor this year. More importantly, the discharge petition is the tactic to draw the hard line between Republicans and Democrats who are WITH us, and those who are hiding behind partisan excuses.
House Democrats are expected to introduce the “Demand a Vote” petition Wednesday, March 26. The direct ask of House members—to both Republicans AND Democrats—will be to sign on to the discharge petition to give us a vote. No one will get a pass. This places direct pressure on individual Republicans in swing districts with growing Latino, Asian, and immigrant voters to protect their own political careers, instead of hiding behind party excuses.
We are committed to working with both Democrats and Republicans who are serious about fixing our broken immigration system.
The discharge petition is an important tool to determine who in the House of Representatives actually wants to solve this problem and who wants to hide behind partisan excuses.
The discharge petition will also expose those members of Congress who are holding the lives of 11 million aspiring Americans hostage as they play politics with immigrant families and block reform. American voters support immigration reform with a path to citizenship 4 to 1, and it is a mobilizing issue for Latino, Asian, and immigrant voters across the country.
In the months ahead, we will hold Democrats and Republicans accountable to finding a permanent solution to this immigration crisis, while at the same time, keeping pressure on President Obama to end the deportations that are ripping apart our families and our communities.