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Letter to Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House - Immigration Vote

Dear Mr. Speaker,

The President challenged us last fall to legislate the DACA program rather than relying on Executive Orders to determine its fate. The President has also asked us to address border security.

DACA is an important issue in all of our states. And, as we know, the program's original intent was to protect from deportation eligible children and young adults who were brought to this country through no fault of their own. We have learned through multiple reports that U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has moved to deport many who have been here for years, including some who are now married with children. Many have paid their taxes and have no serious criminal record. Many know no other way of life.

There are a number of worthy Member proposals that should be properly debated and voted on by the House. Some are bipartisan and would end the uncertainty and distress that some 800,000 DACA recipients are enduring. Others would also address the issue of border security and broader immigration reform issues.

Mr. Speaker, we seek your commitment that the House will address the uncertainty of the DACA eligible population in a timely fashion, either separately or as part of a broader package, using an open and inclusive process that allows the House to work its will.

Specifically, we seek your commitment that the House will debate and vote on all serious and substantive proposals, particularly those offered on a bipartisan basis, as well as any bill approved by the full Senate. A "Queen of the Hill" rule should be employed that establishes the proposal receiving the most votes as the position of the House.

We accept the responsibility to reach consensus on a legislative solution to DACA and are determined to resolve this issue. We believe immigration reform should be bipartisan and that only an open process allowing for the best ideas from both sides will demonstrate to the American public that we can find common ground.


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