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Viewpoints: House leaders should lead U.S. to prosperity with immigration reform

With just one vote, Congress can grow our economy, relieve burdens on employers and keep families together. It seems obvious that our Republican leaders in Congress would want to move our nation forward with these most essential GOP values. Instead, the vote we need to fix our broken immigration system, bolster our economy and secure our nation has been caught up in Washington politics.

In the wake of the government shutdown and a divisive debt ceiling fight, the American people have made clear they’re tired of finger-pointing and hungry to see Congress lead our country forward.

In that vein, as a Republican legislator and business leader, we strongly urge California’s Republican House members to ask Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

The stalled vote in the House stands in stark opposition to the American people, who are overwhelming in their support for immigration reform that will strengthen our security by bringing undocumented residents out of the shadows. By strong margins, American voters back clarifying the status of undocumented families and children, and even a majority of Republican voters across the nation supports offering those willing to pay restitution and wait their turn in line a path to citizenship.

Business owners are frustrated with an immigration system that just isn’t working. Where the government has failed to do its job in enforcing immigration policies, the burden falls to employers. Policing the immigration system isn’t why we went into business. When Congress does its job to ease these regulatory burdens on employers, small businesses can get back to creating jobs.

As a legislator and a business leader, we know the strength our immigrant populations bring to our state. Their strong work ethic makes our fields, factories and laboratories the best in the world, and their strong sense of family and devotion to our communities are without question. As our nation grows more diverse every year, we only hold ourselves back by refusing to embrace the full potential of our immigrants to contribute to our nation as workers and taxpayers.

We agree with the unprecedented number of business, labor and community organizations who have come together to support comprehensive immigration reform. No other policy issue is more important to resolve.

It’s time to call the vote.

Our party has many voices, and we know members of Congress are ultimately accountable to the people of their districts and no one else. That’s why each member of Congress deserves to vote his or her conscience on the immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote four months ago.

With the divisive government shutdown behind us, our nation’s leaders have two choices: They can continue to point fingers, or they can point our country toward a brighter future.

We have a message for our fellow Republicans in Congress: Choose the prosperous path for America. Call the vote on comprehensive immigration reform!

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