Discharge Petition for Immigration Reform

March 26, 2014

Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822

National Immigration Law Center Responds to House Petition to Force Vote on Commonsense Immigration Reform This Year

WASHINGTON — Seeking to remove the House blockade on commonsense immigration reform, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California today announced the filing of a discharge petition, a legislative maneuver to force a House floor vote on immigration reform. The discharge petition — an infrequently used tool that, if signed by a majority of House members, forces House leadership to bring up a bill for a vote — was proposed by Democrats because the GOP-led House has failed to act.

The following is a statement by Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC):

“To be successful, the discharge petition must be signed by a bipartisan majority of the House. We have known since last summer, after the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill, that a majority of the House has recognized the need to fix our broken immigration system and vote on legislation.

“The power to bring an immigration bill to the floor is in the hands of House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, but he has refused to bring a bill to the floor because of the opposition of a band of Tea Party restrictionists.

“The ball is in Boehner’s court. It is time for him to lead for the good of the country instead of cowering in fear of losing his speakership.”

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