The AFL-CIO today urged the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill that passed overwhelmingly last June. In a statement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:
The U.S. Senate voted 68–32 last June in support of a bipartisan bill that would address our long-standing immigration crisis. Unfortunately, Speaker John Boehner and the House Republicans have made a partisan decision to deny the bipartisan Senate bill an up or down vote. That partisan decision to put Republican unity ahead of creating a workable immigration system is an outrage.
Advocates of reform are pursuing a discharge petition, which requires the signatures of 218 House members to bring a bill to the floor. The labor movement, said Trumka, is activating all state and local federation leaders across the country in support of the discharge petition.
There will be a particular focus on ensuring that each House Democrat, and the 30 House Republicans who claim to support a path to citizenship, support holding an up or down vote on the bipartisan Senate immigration bill. The math is simple: If 195 Democrats and just 10% of the House Republican caucus support a discharge petition, America will be well on its way to a functioning immigration system.
Trumka joined several other immigration reform advocates last week in a White House meeting with President Barack Obama and other administration officials to discuss immigration. Today, he said:
At the same time as we fight to end House Republican stalling, we will continue to push the administration to take broad executive action to relieve the ongoing deportation crisis for millions of workers.