A picture of Representative Barbara Lee
Barbara L.
Democrat CA 13

About Rep. Barbara
  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    by Representative Barbara Lee

    Posted on 2013-11-21

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    LEE of california in the house of representatives Thursday, November 21, 2013 Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the House. There is no question that it is long past time to fix our broken immigration system.

    Earlier this year the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform after working with stakeholders to reach a balanced, albeit imperfect bill.

    Then last month, my colleagues in the House introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that has gained the support of 190 bipartisan cosponsors.

    Unfortunately House Republican leadership continues to block the path forward.

    Their refusal to consider legislation that has strong bipartisan, bicameral support is in direct conflict with the will and the needs of the American people-and our constituents.

    There is growing unrest among the agricultural, business, and technology communities in addition to the advocacy organizations and faith groups.

    In my own district, there are heart-wrenching stories of parents who made the dangerous journey here just so they could make sure their children have a place to live and something to eat back home.

    They are separated not just by militarized borders, but by time-- years and decades of not being able to see one another.

    That is why it is so important that organizations like PICO and countless others are continuing to organize and rally to get this done.

    At this moment, faith leaders are joined together on the National Mall as part of the Fast4Families event.

    They are giving up their meals in order to emphasize the moral importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform.

    They follow in the footsteps of leaders like Cesar Chavez, who in 1968 led a 25-day fast for the rights of migrant workers. Today's community leaders are fighting to fix another broken system, one that affects more than 11 million people from all around the world.

    Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that in the 145 days since the Senate passed its immigration bill, House.

    Republican leaders have dedicated what little time we have to a government shutdown, 40 billion dollars in SNAP cuts, and the repeal of Obamacare.

    Republican leadership may not be tired of gridlock and dysfunction but the American people are.

    The nation is ready to pass comprehensive immigration reform and we must not delay any longer.


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