Friday, June 6, 2014


It was good news for some 500,000 young immigrants when Homeland Security announced that they were extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] for another two years.  When DACA was implemented in 2012 it was our collective hope that Congress would pass a comprehensive immigration reform law that would negate the need for any further extensions since these young people would be included in the comprehensive approach.

Sadly, the House in Washington still refuses to bring to the floor for vote the U.S. Senate passed Bill.  That Bill would obviate the need for any further piecemeal immigration reform efforts.

These young people were brought to our country by others as small children.  They did not decide and plan to come here on their own.  These youth are attending our schools, and they are getting an education in order to become legal members of our society, get jobs, pay taxes, and support the economic growth of our nation.  DACA has given them permits in order to work, and it would have been tragic to allow those permits to terminate--throwing these youth back into the shadows without any legal protections.

It is imperative that the House take up and pass the Senate Bill as soon as possible.  What is ironic is that there are enough votes in the House to pass the Senate Bill--votes from both Republicans and Democrats.  But Speaker Boehner will not bring the Bill to the floor because he does not have a majority of his Republican members willing to vote for the Bill.

That refusal to bring the Bill to the House floor for a vote is a moral and ethical outrage.  Some 11 million people are being denied the opportunity to start down a difficult, earned path leading to legal status.  They remain in the shadows of our society, most working low-skill and low-pay jobs in order to provide for their families.

I urge Speaker Boehner to end his delay, and to schedule the Senate Bill for a vote in the House as quickly as possible.