El Paso, TX – Border communities have dealt with the consequences of a lack of action on immigration reform, both, in terms of civil and human rights consequences of previous border surges as well as a road blocked path to citizenship.
Today’s announcement by Republican Congressmen Sam Johnson and John Carter is a departure from what House Gang of 7 negotiators have been saying for months, that a bi-partisan bill was imminent. Border Network for Human Rights has been working towards a comprehensive immigration reform for 15 years now. We are disappointed that Republican political strategy has caused the rupture of a process to resolve a broken immigration system that America clearly wants to see fixed. BNHR is outraged that small, extremist, and anti-immigrant faction of the electorate be the reason for Congress to miss out on an historic opportunity to provide a long term remedy for our country’s economic and moral standing.
Border communities and other stakeholders along the southwest border will continue to work with Members of Congress and in our home districts to create an environment where a roadmap for citizenship together with balanced and accountable enforcement is the only logical option for legislators to move forward on.
We hold Democrats just as responsible as the Republicans for finding ways to move immigration legislation forward without using border and immigrant communities’ hostage to partisan political posturing. President Obama must step up now and fill the leadership void.
Fernando Garcia, BNHR Executive Director, says, “Let me remind both Democrats and Republicans of the mandate that came out the last election, and more specifically, the consequences of ignoring the interests of Hispanics and immigrants in the U.S. By relegating immigration reform beyond the back burner today, they are forgoing support from our communities tomorrow. “
We must also praise Congressman Filemon Vela TX-34 and Congressman Raul Grijalva AZ-3 for stepping up and introducing the CIR ASAP Act of 2013. It is noteworthy that, together with Congressman Beto O’Rourke TX-16, immigration reform legislation is being driven by border Members of Congress.