Immigration reform passed the US Senate last summer and then died in the House, a casualty of Washington gridlock. Yet the exquisite irony is that comprehensive immigration reform is actually supported by a bipartisan majority in the US House — but the chamber’s GOP leadership so fears losing control that it has informally agreed to block any legislation from reaching the House floor unless a majority of Republicans supports it. Thus, in a body with 233 Republicans and 199 Democrats, debate is effectively contained within the GOP caucus, where conservatives and mainstream Republicans have been duking it out over immigration for years. But immigration reform is too important to be shunted aside without a fight. That is why the efforts of House Democratic leaders to force a vote, quixotic as they may appear, deserve support.
The immigration reform bill known as H.R. 15 is based on the version passed in the Senate, and outlines a sensible path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented US residents while also allocating funds to beef up border security.