It’s hard sometimes, to figure out how to make immigration reform a priority for the country when we are facing major challenges this fall, including the proper response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, another budget battle, and yet another debt ceiling debate. These pressing matters will consume a lot of time and attention, but this simply means that we need to use that time to continue to build the growing case—and the popular support—for immigration reform.
August recess is an excellent example of making good use of time. Although many hoped that the House would quickly take up immigration reform before recess, when it was clear that this wouldn’t happen people put their energies into organizing a massive campaign to bring House Members on board. During the five weeks or so of recess, over 1, 194 events took place in 41 different states, more than 600,000 petitions were delivered to the Speaker of the House calling for immigration reform, and thousands of people visited and called their Members of Congress.
Twenty-five House Republicans are now on record supporting legalization for undocumented immigrants that includes a path to citizenship. Diligence, hard work, and the belief that we can make this country live up to its principles are making a difference—every day. We need to go into this fall period with the belief that we can make immigration reform happen. If we don’t, then we have already lost.