Please see below for a letter from our Board Chairperson on a recent meeting with Rep. Cantor's office.
Last week, Virginia Organizing and other groups met with Cort Bush, the legislative director for U.S. Representative and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, about immigration reform. We hope that Representative Cantor keeps immigration reform on his mind all session until a comprehensive immigration reform bill becomes law!
What we know is that a majority of the House of Representatives want to move forward with a comprehensive immigration reform plan, but because the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, will not move a bill in the house without the a majority of the majority party in favor, the U.S. Senate bill will not move forward. We also know that there are several Representatives who are against the Senate bill, but do agree our immigration system is broken. These Members of Congress want to take a piecemeal approach to immigration reform instead of working for a comprehensive solution that works for all people.
A piecemeal approach will not work. Increasing border security does not solve the problems facing the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living and working in the U.S. It does not ensure that they will be able to stay with their families, that they will be free from harassment and racial profiling, or that they will receive wages and other worker protections.
A piecemeal approach is a certain way to fail on immigration reform. The comprehensive, bipartisan measure passed in the Senate is inclusive; no one gets everything they want, but everyone gets the most important things to their own interests.
At the end of the meeting, I asked Cort Bush for a vote on citizenship by the end of October for the 11 million people who are already members of our community—not only for the children, but for the parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, all contributing to our society and our economy.
Virginia Organizing needs your help. Can you call Majority Leader Eric Cantor and ask him to make sure there is a vote on citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people already in the U.S. by the end of October? You can reach his office at 202-225-2815. He needs to hear what Virginians really want.
Thank you for all the work you have done to make this summer successful for immigration reform. You have come out across the state to support your neighbors and your voices, along with thousands of others across the U.S., have helped keep national attention on this important issue! Great work!
Stay tuned for more updates, including information about immigration events we are doing across the state on October 5 that you don’t want to miss!
Sandra A. Cook