Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, along with many of her colleagues, demanded on Wednesday that the House of Representatives vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill by signing a discharge petition on House Resolution 15, the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.
A near identical bill passed in the Senate in June with extensive bipartisan support.
A discharge petition is a procedural exercise that, if it receives 218 votes, can force a vote on the House floor even when it is opposed by the House majority leadership. H.R. 15 currently has 199 co-sponsors, including three Republicans.
After gathering on the east steps of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, members — including Capps — proceeded to the House floor to sign the petition.
“We cannot sit idly by as the House majority leadership does nothing to fix our broken immigration system,” Capps said. “I’ve spoken to families, law enforcement and businesses up and down the Central Coast, and the message is clear: Now is the time for a long-term, reasonable solution to this broken system, which is holding our country and our economy back. The Senate has acted, and now it is time to bring this issue up for a vote on the House floor.”
According to a new study released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 15, which is modeled after the Senate-passed bill, would reduce the deficit by $900 billion over the next two decades, including $200 billion in the first decade alone.
Capps supports a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes an earned path to citizenship in which immigrants fully participate and pay their taxes. This comprehensive immigration reform package would also reform and improve the visa system, implement border security measures and employer verification, and establish an expedited path to citizenship for DREAMERS and agricultural workers.
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.