Immigration Reform 2013: Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Is Second Republican To Co-Sponsor Democrat Immigration Bill

By Manuel Campos

Florida's District 27 Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has become the second Republican co-sponsor of HR 15, the bipartisan immigration reform bill proponents hope will win over Speak John Boehner in the House.

Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia of Florida announced on Twitter on Tuesday that Ros-Lehtinen, had signed the bill.

"BREAKING: Pleased to announce @RosLehtinen as a co-sponsor of my #CIR bill. Together we are moving #SouthFlorida forward"

Ros-Lehtinen issued a statement, saying, "It's important to keep the conversation going in trying to fix the broken immigration system. I favor any approach that will help us move the negotiations forward. Other members may soon produce a bipartisan product that may also deserve support and I'm cautiously optimistic that we can pass meaningful immigration reform."

Over the weekend, California Congressman Jeff Denham became the first Republican to co-sponsor the bill.

Eddie Carmona, PICO National Network's campaign manager for the Campaign for Citizenship, issued a statement to salute Ros-Lehtinen:

"Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has demonstrated that she is a champion of the 11 million aspiring Americans by taking a bold, first step toward achieving reform of our broken immigration system. This move shows us that she is willing not only to speak up for the immigrant community, but will act to find a real legislative solution to the devastating problem facing our communities" said Carmona.

"HR 15 is a serious vehicle for achieving consensus on reform. Nearly everyone agrees that the current system is broken, and now Republicans in the House like Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., are helping to build the pressure on Speaker Boehner to schedule a vote. Majority support for reform with a path to citizenship exists in the House, and we hope more Republicans step forward to build the momentum for action on reform.""

The bill is based on two bipartisan measures: legislation that passed the Senate 68 to 32 in June, and a separate bill approved in May by the House Homeland Security Committee.

Democrats have argued that, given the bill's bipartisan origins, Republicans should have no reason not to offer their support.



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