Moderate Democrats who have been working together to try to build support for comprehensive immigration reform from Republicans delivered an ultimatum last Friday to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner: introduce an immigration bill by September 30th or they will introduce one of their own.
“(We) are frustrated that there was not a bipartisan immigration reform bill introduced prior to the August recess,” states the letter representing 39 of the 53 New Democrat Coalition members, including co-chairmen Jared Polis and Joaquin Castro. “Therefore we write to inform you that if a bipartisan immigration reform package is not introduced in the House of Representatives – one that includes a pathway to citizenship, helps grow American jobs and fixes our immigration system once and for all – by September 30th, we as New Democrats will consider introducing a comprehensive immigration reform bill.”
Ohio Republican Boehner has previously stated that he has no intention of bringing an immigration bill – especially the comprehensive one that passed the Senate in June – to the House unless it is supported by the great majority of House Republicans. Democrats and many other activists believe they may be able to secure the necessary 218 votes required to pass such legislation by keeping almost all Democrats and swaying some Republicans to the cause, if Boehner would allow such a vote to take place.
The clock is ticking nearer to primaries as well as the 2014 election year as Democrats and Republicans remain at loggerheads over offering citizenship to undocumented immigrants.