Rubén Hinojosa: Immigration reform is not dead

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    Image of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, speaking about immigration reform during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

    Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, right, accompanied by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., speaks about immigration reform during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Earlier, House Speaker John Boehner said he’s hopeful the House can act this year on immigration legislation as Republicans privately discuss possible steps to change the current system. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    By Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

    Much has happened this week around comprehensive immigration reform.

    On Tuesday, President Obama invited business leaders and CEOs to discuss immigration reform in the White House.  The AFL-CIO and SEIU announced a campaign on Thursday to continue moving the issue forward and hold House Republicans accountable for holding it up.  This all comes a few days after three House Republicans expressed support for H.R. 15 which is the House bill that would reform our nation’s broken immigration system.

    Let me set the record straight: Comprehensive immigration reform is not dead in the House.  The time for excuses is over. The time for action is now.

    We are seeing a lot of action and momentum around comprehensive immigration reform.  The President and House Democrats have long been pushing to make reform a reality for the millions of undocumented families that have lived in the shadows for much too long.

    Where is House Republican Leadership on this issue? They won’t allow a vote on the issue even though the Senate passed a bill months ago.

    There are many reasons why our country needs comprehensive immigration reform and why there is such strong bipartisan support for it right now.  Among the many reasons, immigration reform makes economic sense.  Reforming our nation’s broken system will reduce the deficit by nearly $850 billion over the first 20 years and grow the economy by $1.4 trillion over 20 years.

    There is still time to get something done.  We need a vote.  The American people deserve to be heard.  In case they need a reminder, House Republican Leadership should look to Tuesday’s election results across the country.  There is too much at stake when it comes to this issue and too many people fighting to see it become a reality.

    I too remain hopeful that comprehensive immigration reform will happen, and will not stop fighting until House Republican Leadership allows a vote on the issue.

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