House Dems Demand a Vote on Immigration Reform: Say to Boehner “One man should not stand in the way of the will of the people!”

By Meghan Maury, Policy Counsel

ImmigrationrallyThis morning I stood on the steps of the Capitol building with House Democrats and movement activists to #DemandAVote on HR 15, the House immigration reform bill.

Representative Steven Horsford explained that Democrats have the votes to pass immigration reform in the House.  In addition to the Democrats who support the bill, about 30 Republicans have stated that they are in favor of a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.  Horsford chastised Speaker Boehner for blocking a vote on the bill, and called for House Republicans to sign the discharge petition that would release H.R. 15 from the committee where it has been stalled for 272 days.

The discharge petition is a rarely used procedure in the House, and its mechanics may not be familiar to most of us. Basically, if a bill has been stalled in a committee for more than 30 days, House members can bring the bill to the floor for a vote if they get signatures from a majority of Representatives.  The House has a total of 435 members, 199 of which are Democrats.  Therefore, the discharge petition needs a minimum of 19 Republican signatories to reach the winning 218 signature mark.

If we can get this bill to the floor, House Democrats are confident they have the votes to finally get a victory on immigration reform.  The 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country -including the estimate 267,000 who identify as LGBT – need a path to citizenship.  It’s good for families, and it’s good for our economy: the Congressional Budget Office expects the bill to reduce the deficit by $200 billion in the first decade and by $900 billion in the second decade.

That’s why we need you to contact your Representatives and ask them to sign the discharge petition today.  We’ve waited long enough for immigration reform. Tell House Republicans: The time is now.  For more information about how the Task Force is working for immigration reform, check out these posts: Holiday Immigration Reform; Rea Carey Arrested Protesting for Immigration Reform; Senate Bill Considered.

To send a letter to your Representative urging them to #demandavote, go to: Leadership Conference #demandavote