The Shutdown Ends: Now It’s Time for Immigration Reform

As the crisis ends, it is time to get serious about Immigration Reform.
As the crisis ends, it is time to get serious about Immigration Reform.

The votes were there all along for the end of the shutdown, Speaker Boehner just needed to bring the funding bill to the floor for a vote. He said he wouldn’t allow a vote unless a majority of Republicans supported it. Well, 87 Republicans voted to end the shutdown to 144 who voted to keep the government closed. In other words, Boehner violated the so-called Hastert Rule.

The votes are there to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Speaker Boehner needs to take the long-term interests of the country into account and not the short-term grandstanding of a small faction.

President Obama said Tuesday that immigration reform is up next. He told Univision that he wants to get back to work on reform the day after the government reopens. Last night in his speech announcing that the government was open for business, he reiterated his pledge to work on immigration reform.

Long Islanders have been particularly active in pushing to reform our immigration laws. Eight out of ten Long Islanders support reform. All four of our Congresspeople have said they support the Senate approach with its path to citizenship. We need to keep speaking out for reform and insisting that our representatives keep the pressure on the House leadership to make reform a reality.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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