Finally, some good news concerning immigration reform coming from Republican leadership.
According to the Quorum Report, Speaker John Boehner has recently hired an Immigration Policy Director with previous reform experience to aid in directing immigration reform efforts.
Also reported by QR sources, various Texas business interests have told the Quorum Report that John Boehner has informed them votes on immigration reform will be held soon after filing deadlines have passed.
Read more below the jump.As of now, the House GOP has had very little to show for in pushing forward reform efforts.
After 11 months since immigration reform became a priority for both parties consequence to the 2012 elections — and with now the 2014 midterm elections right around the corner — House Republicans have virtually nothing to show for aside from a small change in their negative anti-immigration messaging, withholding from using phrases such much “anchor baby” or “send them all back.” Yet, no real actions have been taken that shows Republicans truly care or want to fix our broken immigration system.
House Democrats unveiled their own immigration bill in October, the only real advancement made in the House.
Despite overall support for immigration reform by Republican voters, Texas Republican House members are acting very cautious not to upset their conservative primary voters by coming across as pro-immigrant in supporting the Senate-passed immigration bill currently stalled in the House.
Because of heavy gerrymandering, few Hispanic voters have been left in most Republican districts after redistricting. Gerrymandering even effects districts where the population is experiencing a lot of growth. House Republicans believe to have little incentive to support immigration reform and risk angering their base.
Even the two Texas Republicans that would seem obvious fits to support immigration reform efforts, Reps. Ted Poe and Blake Farenthold, who represent districts with large Hispanic populations and reform supporters, have yet to truly come out in supporting immigration reform efforts.
“I don't think any of the current congressmen are feeling pressure from primary voters to do something,” said the chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Steve Munisteri. “They're feeling pressure not to screw it up.”
Immigration reform activists are growing tired of the wait.
A group of immigration activists have been fasting since November 12 to bring further attention to issue, setting up tents at the National Mall. Congressman Joe Kennedy, (D-Mass), has since joined the fasting efforts. The activists were also recently visited by President Obama and Vice President Biden for encouragement.
If Speaker Boehner and Republicans fail again to act in what they have promised, we will be back once again to square one at the House. Advancements might even be possibly pushed back until after the 2014 midterm elections.
Speaker Boehner should simply put immigration reform up for a vote on the floor. If efforts fail, voters will at least then know who needs to go in 2014 in order for immigration reform to finally become a reality.