Every day we mire more and more of these children, estimated in the tens of thousands, in deportation proceedings that only return them to the very same conditions that prompted their flight here in the first places.
The solutions offered so far – increased deportations in response to this recent surge – are merely stopgap measures that do not address the long term consequences of these actions. Expediting deportation procedures with more judges and expanding detention centers to better accommodate families and children only ensures tens of thousands more are trapped in our interminable immigration process.
It is up to Congress to repair this broken system. The Senate has done its job by passing a bipartisan reform package that addressed the critical needs in our system. But infuriately, the Republican House majority has abdicated responsibility, stalling any action on immigration reform in favor of ideological attacks that do nothing to solve the problem.
An overwhelming bipartisan majority of the country, 79 percent, agrees the time is right to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Six hundred business organizations across the political spectrum, including leading conservative organization the Chamber of Commerce, have voiced their support for reforming our broken immigration system.
And reform makes fiscal sense. The Senate-passed bill that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McCarthy have let languish for over a year would reduce federal budget deficits by roughly $200 billion in the next decade, and even more in the years after 2024. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that we would save nearly $700 billion in the second decade after reform. Simply put, their inaction is costing our country money every day.
Most importantly, immigration reform is needed to address the humanitarian inadequacies in our current system while strengthening families. It is our moral responsibility to respond to the thousands of people who seek refuge and asylum inside our borders to find a better life for themselves and their families, just as many of our ancestors did.
We cannot deport our way out of this situation any more than we can build an impenetrable border. Reforming the broken system we have is the only moral, fiscally sound solution and it is up to the House Republican majority to get out of the way. The American people want the system improved, our business community wants it, and the Senate has already acted. The time is now for Speaker Boehner and his new leadership team to bring bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote in the House.