On immigration reform, Obama did the right thing on deferred action, leading to increased accountability and transparency. The right next step is for Congress to enact the DREAM Act. Bringing millions of workers into our legal system increases America's tax base, ensures greater transparency and accountability in America's immigration system and ensures a higher likelihood of profitable effect and improved economic productivity.
The data shows it. Providing a legal framework leads to a more likely pursuit of higher education and higher-paying jobs, all of which leads to more taxes being paid and lower usage of government services. If the DREAM act is passed, our economy is looking at about $4 trillion in increased economic productivity. This is a good trend and one that we should support.
The real question remains: Are Republicans willing to do what they were elected to do and legislate on behalf of the American majority constituency and not the minority elite? For too long, Republicans blocked legislation that looks out for the "least of these" while leveraging the "elite of these" with an explicit and notable defense of the financial industry.
For too long, Republicans left Americans without defense against these powerful industries. For too long, Republicans promoted an individualism that leaves every American to fight alone against big banks and a big industry that has every advantage, privilege and power in its pocket.
We cannot wait any longer. We must do what's best for the majority middle, not the minority elite. If Republicans are unwilling to join us in this effort, then they are unfit to govern and must be gone by November. There is no time for dillydallying. It is time to join the Democrats or get off the train.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) is a member of the Appropriations and Budget committees.
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.