PLNA Works with Pennsylvania Ag Groups to Push Immigration Reform
Monday, September 2, 2013
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
HARRISBURG – With Congress in recess for August, PLNA and a coalition of other Pennsylvania ag groups spread out across Pennsylvania to press the message with the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation that the U.S. house must act on comprehensive immigration reform when they come back into session. Meetings have been scheduled in August through September. The goal is to meet with each member of the delegation.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed S. 744, Congress' first serious attempt at comprehensive immigration reform since 2007. The bill, hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Eight," led by Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York), passed with a majority of 68 to 32 that included all Democratic and fourteen Republican senators.
But if anything concerning immigration reform can be easy, this was the easy part. Getting a bill through the Republican-controlled House will be a challenge. After the Senate action in June, House Speaker John Boehner stated flatly that the House will not take up the Senate bill, but will develop a group of smaller bills rather than one comprehensive bill.
House Speaker Boehner said that he is encouraging the members of his caucus to return to their districts over the August recess and listen to what their constituents are saying about immigration reform. Many have scheduled town meetings and other opportunities to hear their constituents.
Our early meetings with Pennsylvania Congressmen have confirmed that this will be a tough job to encourage them to act. Most fear a primary fight with candidates to their right politically if they support immigration reform.
We have seen negative grass roots reaction against immigration reform during the August recess. For those of us who see comprehensive immigration reform as well past due, I hope we have learned that we cannot sit idly by and let the anti-immigration reform forces win the day.
Please contact your Congressman and tell them to act on comprehensive immigration reform this fall. Click here to go to the ANLA website and send a message to your representative.