Members of the House of Representative think they will be able to push – or at least vote on – the immigration reform bill come October. Rep. Luis Gutierrez announced earlier this week that he signed off the bill, which is supported by all of the Democrats in the bipartisan voting group but still awaiting approval from House Republicans.
“I’m ready to go,” Gutierrez said, according to the International Business Times. “I’m ready to make an announcement. I’m ready to have a bipartisan deal. If we don’t work with this group of seven, then we will find another group of eight, but we’re going to find another group of something that’s going to bring us to a solution in the House of Representatives. We refuse to let the people down. We refuse to lose. We’re going to continue to fight.”
House leaders believe that they already have the majority of voters they need to pass the bill, even though the vote has not yet occurred. The source reported that 185 to 190 House Democrats support the legislation, as do between 40 and 50 House Republicans.
According to the International Business Times, the House Judiciary Committee is currently debating piecemeal bills, but many believe that these pieces of legislation won’t pass because of the committee’s conservative view on the issue of immigration.
“I think at some point in October there’s going to be a re-evaluation of the strategy among Republicans, and at that point I think if enough of them are serious about getting something done – and I think there are enough of them, especially in the leadership – then we will be at a bipartisan moment when they need to have a different approach that would get both Republicans and Democrats on the same bill,” a Democratic staffer told the source.
A boost for the economy
In the weeks leading up to the decision, many are beginning to wonder how the possible passing of the legislation will affect the economy. Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO, said he thinks that if Congress passes the legislation, it will lead to higher wages for U.S. workers. According to AZCentral, Trumka explained that if the 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States receive citizenship, both these individuals and current U.S. citizens could receive larger paychecks because dishonest employers will no longer be able to take advantage of immigrant workers.
“I think when 11 million people come out of the shadows, they will have more rights and we will all benefit,” Trumka said at a Christian Science Monitor newsmaker breakfast. “The way things work now, they get stiffed on their pay and they have no way to enforce their rights.”
Immigrant workers may also be able to reap other benefits by gaining legal status, including the ability to join unions. As union members, they will be able to earn even higher wages in some cases, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that Latino workers with unions earn about 51 percent more money than those without unions when working the same jobs. This, in turn, will help keep work in the United States.
“Gaps and shortages in our workforce put American jobs at risk – because if companies can’t find all the workers they need here, then they will be forced to move all the work where the workers are,” Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a speech.
With higher wages and benefits available to workers, the United States will be able to fill openings and keep jobs in the United States.