The House of Representatives must pass immigration legislation by the August recess or the Obama administration should enact reforms using its available capabilities, according to a coalition of immigration advocacy groups.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the National Immigration Forum, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sojourners, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration called on the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform during a “real window of opportunity” before August.
“For the good of the country, we urge Speaker Boehner and his colleagues to seize this moment. After so many promises, inaction now would be more than a lost opportunity; it would be a moral and economic loss,” the organizations wrote.
“During this interim, we strongly urge President Obama and his Administration to allow for this process to take place before issuing administrative action,” they continued. “We believe the President should move cautiously and give the House Leadership all of the space they may need to bring legislation to the floor for a vote.”
According to the organizations – which range from labor to religious groups – if the House does not pass something between now and the August recess the Obama administration must take actions itself.
“Should the House fail to move forward during this window, the Administration will have an obligation to use whatever tools are at its disposal under the law to prevent the tragic family break-ups and economic disruption that has become the daily norm,” the groups wrote, noting however that they would prefer legislation to “partial and temporary” administrative actions.
The organizations concluded by promising to keep the pressure on House members over the summer.
“Our communities, representing workers, civil rights advocates, faith, business and law enforcement from across both sides of the aisle, are determined to urge Congress to deliver immigration reform,” they explained. “We know that House leaders can act. We know that nothing stands in their way. The time is now.”