Speaker John Boehner was greeted by protesters organized by the Texas Organizing Project, immigrant families and community organizations in San Antonio. About 50 people stood outside Boehner's fundraising event demanding he do the right thing and bring immigration reform efforts up for a vote in the House.
Texas Organizing Project, Immigrant Families and Community Organizations protesting outside the event
Boehner, who came to Texas to speak about the economy, is in fact costing our state a tremendous boost in our state's economy by failing to pass immigration reform in the House. A report by the White House estimates immigration reform would increase Texas' economic output by $3.8 billion and create approximately 43,097 new jobs this year alone.
Immigration reform efforts have been stalled and delayed by Boehner, despite promises to move forward with immigration reform efforts after last year's filing deadlines.
Boehner's sole excuse for failing to bring reform up for a vote? His fellow Republicans complain that, "Ohhh, this is too hard!"
In the fundraiser on Monday, Boehner expressed supporting passing immigration reform "in chunks," instead of one sweeping immigration reform bill. He expressed support for an increase in border security, and perhaps a pathway to citizenship, but only if people had to wait in line behind those undergoing our current citizenship process.
No date was given as to when Boehner would spearhead these efforts in the House.
Below is what the Texas Organizing Project had to say about Boehner's visit to Texas:
TOP, Immigrant Families and Community Organizations in San Antonio Call on House Speaker John Boehner to Push for Immigration Reform at Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Event
Demonstrators Outside of Meeting Venue Protest Resistance from Republicans on House Bill
San Antonio, Texas///Today, Texas Organizing Project members demonstrated outside the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's "San Antonio Conversations" event at the Marriott Riverwalk, calling on the event's featured guest, House Speaker John Boehner, to bring a House bill for immigration reform to a chamber vote. Immigrant families called for the bill to include a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
"Everyday, families are being ripped apart," said Maria Hinojosa, San Antonio TOP Member whose loved ones have been affected by failed immigration policies. "Up until now, John Boehner has only allowed one vote in the House on immigration and it was for Rep. Steve King's (R - IA) amendment to overturn President Obama's administrative relief for DREAMers, called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. That's not leadership. That's what pandering looks like. What our country needs more than anything else is for Speaker Boehner to stand up to the anti-immigrant wing of his party and allow a vote on legislation that keeps families together. As Latinos in a majority Latino city, House Speaker Boehner needs to listen up, because we will expose Republicans every step of the way and target them at the ballot box for as long as they block immigration reform from happening."
In all, around 50 demonstrators from about five San Antonio organizations held signs, chanted and marched just outside the hotel lobby for an hour during the Chamber's ongoing event, with honks of approval from passing cars, and with closing remarks from Bexar County Young Tejano Democrats, LULAC and TOP Community Organizer Laquita Garcia.
"The window for Republicans to act is closing," said Garcia. "It's becoming clearer every day that House Republicans have no intention of moving immigration reform legislation this year. They seem determined to show all of us just how much the anti-immigrant wing of their caucus is leading the way. But our top priority is-and always will be-winning legislation that will provide a permanent solution for immigrant families and fix our broken system once and for all."
Working with other pro-reform allies, TOP has been passionately fighting for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship in Texas. Speaker Boehner is responsible for our immigration crisis, and is obstructing democracy by silencing the majority of supporters for reform in the House, and across America. The statewide nonprofit has participated in numerous press conferences, vigils, rallies, marches, and direct actions on elected leaders, while driving support for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.