Over the past few days, we have seen them stand up for immigration reform. Representatives Steve Denham (R-CA) ,Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and David Valadao (R-CA) who have already been out in front on the need for a path to citizenship (Denham even did a YouTube video about it), stepped forward again. They have announced that they are signing on as co-sponsors of H.R. 15—the bill House Democrats have introduced that is almost identical to S. 744, but instead of the ill-conceived Corker-Hoeven “Border Surge” it contains the McCaul border security provisions.
This is not a crazy, left-wing, liberal Democrat bill. Trust me, I could describe a host of things in the bill that a lot of people wish were different. Eliminating the 4th Preference Family category and severely limiting the 3rd Preference Family category, border enforcement on steroids, I could go on…
But by co-sponsoring this piece of legislation, these three representatives have made what is fact (that it’s a bipartisan centrist bill) into what could be a new truth for the Republican Party. This new truth is simple: immigration is not a party-line issue. The need for immigration reform done right is not something that appeals only to one “side” or the other. It appeals to those who want to see our country flourish and succeed.
The last poll I saw showed that well over 70% of voters think that a roadmap to citizenship is what our nation needs, what our people deserve, and what lives up to our values of equal rights and fairness. That’s not just a poll of Democrats. That’s a poll of Independents and Republicans too.
California groups have also been visiting their representatives to remind them of these important truths. Focusing on Republican members, these bands of families, students, business and faith groups have provided the perspective needed to persuade Congressional members to trust their gut feelings and moral fibers. Separating the rhetoric from the facts, Congressional Republicans are realizing Immigration Reform is a necessity to enhance our security, and economy, while keeping our family values and sense of fairness intact.
These Republicans took a bold step, but one that is most remarkable to me because it is one that most Republicans in Congress don’t seem to see as possible for them.
Ask your Representatives to take a look at their district, take a look at your state, and take a look at our nation. Tell them they need to take these Representatives’ example, co-sponsor this bill, and step forward into the future. Ask them not to take a leap of faith, but a leap into the realities of our national needs. Our economy needs a jump start. Let the fresh blood of Immigrants be the spark plug to our recovery and the willing partners in our future national endeavors and success.
Will the next willing partner please stand up?