Rep. Mia Love says the effort to force a vote on several immigration-related issues is about to pay off.
Love is one of several House Republicans who has signed onto a discharge petition, which would bring a number of immigration bills to the floor for a vote. Assuming all of the Congressional Democrats join the effort, backers are just two Republican signatures away from their goal.
Love says the effort is already bearing fruit, as GOP leadership has promised a vote on an immigration bill next month.
“We’re going to continue to try to get the signatures on the petition, but we’ve been told by leadership we will have a vote mid to end of June for sure,” says Love. “This has forced leadership to give us a vote, so I’m pleased with the results.”
House leadership has been working to squash the discharge petition, reportedly putting pressure on members and threatening retribution for those who signed on to the measure. Love says she hasn’t been pressured or threatened for joining the effort.
“I’m a daughter of parents who immigrated here. My parents actually had to leave my brother and sister in Haiti for five years. Until their families have to sacrifice like that, they can’t really tell me where to be on this issue,” she says.
If the discharge petition is successful, it will force a vote on four bills, the one receiving the most votes would move on to the Senate.
One proposal is a bill to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children from being deported. These so-called “dreamers” were put into legal jeopardy when President Donald Trump canceled the DACA program last year. Love says the need for Congress to act on the DACA issue is an urgent one.
“Since the president repealed DACA and said Congress should deal with it, we have an opportunity to take the lead and do something on this issue,” she says. “We were sent here to do hard things, so we need to roll up our sleeves and get this done. Let the bills pass or fail on its own merits.”
There’s speculation that whatever happens with the House legislation will be DOA in the Senate because this is an election year. Love disagrees.
“We don’t know that. I know the administration wants a bill that has a DACA fix and border security. President Trump said that in the State of the Union. I’m going to hold him to that. If a bill gets to the desk that has those two things, I’m assuming he is going to sign it.”