Americans’ memories for political events are notoriously short-lived, but one event should never be forgotten amid our great immigration controversy. That involves the bipartisan immigration reform bill the U.S. Senate passed by a veto-proof 68-32 margin on June 27, 2013. The bill included a nationwide employment eligibility verification system and stricter border control, along with a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, an innovative temporary worker program and increased visa numbers for skilled foreign workers. Quoting Froma Harrop’s commentary “Republicans don’t want to fix immigration” (The Spokesman-Review, Jan. 20): “There were enough supportive Democrats and Republicans to pass the reform in the House as well, but then-Speaker John Boehner didn’t put it up for a vote.” Purportedly among House Republican leadership, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was complicit in this assault on democracy and majority rule. Characteristically, she was the consummate political lackey.
House passage of this bill would have rendered it law with then-President Obama’s signature, thus avoiding all acrimony, stress on immigrants and wasted time and money that has ensued.
This legislation could still be rescued by the House, but certainly won’t happen until we make better choices, like electing Lisa Brown to replace McMorris Rodgers.