On Wednesday, July 10, two of our teammates participated in a rally as the GOP caucused on immigration. We are calling on Speaker Boehner and the House GOP to stand up and support immigration reform by advancing the bipartisan Senate bill. Here are their reflections from the rally.
We gathered on the lawn between the Capitol and the House Office Buildings – House Republicans were meeting a short distance away, at the same time, to determine a course of action on the immigration reform bill under debate.
Through bouts of rain and sweltering heat, hundreds of demonstrators and organizers marched, chanted, and held signs urging lawmakers in the House to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. There was a palpable energy on the lawn, sustained for a long time so that our voices would be heard within the GOP’s secret conclave.
Although developments in the House may seem dispiriting, I am encouraged by the vibrancy and diversity of Wednesday’s rally. I was delighted to wake up the next day to a report on NPR about the demonstration. Pundits may speculate and sound bites may circulate, but evidence is growing that voters of all stripes wish to see an overhaul of the immigration system.
It’s time that leadership in the House acknowledges, embraces, and acts on public opinion. How many new polls do we need to read to understand that immigration reform has the support of Republicans – even those who self-identify as Tea Partiers? How long must we wait before lawmakers like Speaker Boehner realize the demands of their constituents? I want to see them be responsive to the people.
It’s time that Representatives, well, represent.
We gave the House Republicans a “welcome” to the caucus meeting that we know they heard and hope they won’t forget. Hundreds of immigrant families, DREAMers, supporters, and faith leaders rallied in front of the Capitol under 90°F heat.
House Republicans might not be happy about the Senate immigration bill, but it’s time they listened to the people instead of insisting that they are not going to pass the bill. Their own proposed legislation – which has not been released but will likely not include a pathway to citizenship – will not reflect the desires of the majority of Americans. We want reform, and we want a path to citizenship – and we want it NOW!
Republican and Independent voters may just stop voting for Republicans altogether if the immigration reform bill cannot be passed. Americans don’t want to see families hurt, and the House GOP seems hell-bent on destroying as many immigrant lives as possible.
Congress, remember, we vote in November, and we will vote again in 2014. It’s not the first time heard from us, and we won’t wait forever. Time is ticking.