shutterstock_12168481Crystal and I wrote Speaker Boehner a letter that I wish we hadn’t had to send.  His inaction on immigration reform has been incredibly disappointing, as he caves to the pressure from a relatively small group within the Republican party, my party, and does nothing.

Hasn’t brought up a single immigration bill for a vote in the House.  Won’t even consider bringing up a comprehensive bill that legitimately seeks to handle our broken immigration system.  Can’t take the requests from his party members Denham, Ros-Lehtinen, and Valadeo seriously as they sign on to cosponsor H.R. 15.  Doesn’t consider the needs of our country, our people, and our future and lets an economic boost and a trillion dollars in deficit reduction sit unused.

Hasn’t. Won’t. Can’t. Doesn’t.

To my mind, the Speaker of the House shouldn’t be “leading” by telling us what he won’t do.  Negatives are not leadership.  A majority party is supposed to move things forward, not put up roadblocks.  Stop delaying, recognize what is necessary no matter how unpalatable a small minority of our party might see it, and get it done.

Speaker Boehner has wasted much of this year and tried to stall the momentum that immigration reform has had since the last election but we must not give up.

Here’s the thing.  AILA’s members have the somewhat dubious privilege of being on the front lines of our nation’s mishmash of immigration law and policy.  We are frustrated every day by the law’s failure to keep families together, encourage entrepreneurship, and respect due process.

We don’t have a balanced and smart immigration system, instead we have a labyrinth, one that continues to destabilize our society and our economy.  AILA members, law enforcement officials, businesses, and faith and community leaders have become increasingly vocal about the urgency of reform because we see the real world repercussions. We see the U.S. citizen children ending up in foster care because of the Obama Administration’s detention and deportation policies.

We are reluctantly willing to accept a piecemeal approach, but House leadership must recognize the reality that there are many parts to our immigration system and they all must be addressed, improved, and updated or the broken status quo will remain.

As we finish off this year, I will continue to hold Speaker Boehner and the rest of House leadership responsible for the fact that as yet, immigration reform has not received a vote on the House floor.  I will continue to advocate for action, rather than stasis.

Respectfully Mr. Speaker, on immigration reform, our country needs you to lead, follow, or get out of the way.