“These bills are nothing more than a Band-Aid being used to cover up a gaping wound,” Baca asserted at the CHC’s press conference, criticizing the bills now under consideration in the House.
Although CHC members also renewed their calls for the House to take up the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act, a wide-ranging measure introduced last year, Baca said Hispanic lawmakers would not force that issue to the floor, but would simply seek to raise consciousness on the bill.
“We create the awareness. ... It isn’t really an attack on leadership or anyone else,” Baca said following the press conference.
Asked whether CHC members would oppose any of the “piecemeal” immigration efforts en masse, Baca replied: “I don’t know.” But he predicted it is unlikely the Shuler legislation would make it to the House floor.
“I doubt it will ever make it out of committee,” Baca said, and added that he believes Democratic leaders will respond to the CHC’s complaints in the near future: “We’ll probably have hearings on comprehensive immigration.”
Hispanic lawmakers had worked to reach agreement on a wide-ranging immigration
reform measure — including five-year visas for illegal immigrants, increases in temporary visas used by workers in seasonal industries, as well as enforcement — before the March recess, but that deal was ultimately unsuccessful.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.