Today AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement on House Speaker John Boehner's refusal to put immigration reform to a vote:
Speaker Boehner’s inability to lead his party to do the right thing on immigration reform is unconscionable. One year after he publicly pledged to pass comprehensive immigration reform, he and the Republican controlled House have nothing to show for it.
Incredibly, Boehner found time in his busy legislative calendar to bring to the floor and pass with near-unanimous Republican support a bill authored by Steve King that would deport DREAM-eligible youngsters. That’s it for the entire year. Republicans have done nothing to end the deportation crisis that separates families, nothing to end the exploitation of workers and nothing to create a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants and their families who are American in every way except on paper.
It is clear from Boehner’s decision that a minority of anti-immigrant House Republicans holds the power, and are preventing a solution to one of our nation’s most pressing problems. In fact, if the bi-partisan House bill H.R. 15 was put before the House today it would no doubt pass.
The AFL-CIO will not give up this fight until comprehensive immigration reform is passed in the Congress. If Boehner’s House Republicans continue to block the way, we intend to make it clear that the Republican Party will pay a price at the ballot box for ignoring America’s growing immigrant community.