Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to House Speaker John Boehner ahead of today's "special meeting" of the House Republican Conference on immigration reform. The letter calls on Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to act in a bipartisan way to enact reform that is comprehensive, that upholds our core principles, and that represents a reasonable compromise for both parties.
As the Leader writes in her letter, "the 113th Congress has the opportunity to leave our mark on American history by enacting comprehensive immigration reform."
Leader Pelosi went on to state, "Mr. Speaker: if you decide to take up various elements of comprehensive immigration reform under separate votes, it is essential to remember that those key elements are interconnected and necessary for reform."
Below is the full text of the letter:
July 10, 2013
The Honorable John Boehner
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner:
This morning, President George W. Bush expressed his hope for a "positive resolution to the debate" on comprehensive immigration reform and called on leaders to "keep a benevolent spirit in mind, and understand the contributions immigrants make to our country."
In that same spirit, the 113th Congress has the opportunity to make our mark on American history by enacting comprehensive immigration reform. Passing commonsense reform would honor our heritage as a nation of immigrants -- built, strengthened, and enriched by each wave of newcomers to our shores. Taking this step forward would uphold our best traditions and reaffirm our ideals as a land of equality and opportunity for all.
As you know, the Senate has already voted in a bipartisan way -- by a tally of 68 to 32 -- to move our country one step closer to comprehensive immigration reform. Now, it's the House's turn to act.
One possible blueprint is already in the works. I understand that, after years of cooperation and hard work, the bipartisan Taskforce of 7 is close to putting forward a proposal that is comprehensive and that represents a reasonable compromise for both parties. In the past, you have recognized the positive contributions of the taskforce, and yesterday, you acknowledged that "they have done good work" and that you "look forward to their involvement as we consider this bill."
House Democrats' priorities for immigration reform are the principles laid out by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with commitments to secure our borders, protect our workers, unite our families, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship. Each of these elements has bipartisan support. For example, to secure our borders, the McCaul-Thompson bill passed out of the Homeland Security Committee unanimously. To protect our workers, agreements between growers and farmworkers, business and labor, passed the Senate as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Mr. Speaker: if you decide to take up various elements of comprehensive immigration reform under separate votes, it is essential to remember that those key elements are interconnected and necessary for reform.
Democrats remain hopeful that the House can pass legislation worthy of our best traditions and history. We are ready to act in a bipartisan fashion to get the job done, to afford all immigrants a fair shot at the American Dream, and to make comprehensive immigration reform the law of the land.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to our working together on this issue.