Congress returned this week from its July 4 recess, still needing a refresher course about the 237-year-old Declaration of Independence by our founding Fathers against rulers who failed to represent the colonists' interests.
"A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people," the signers declared.
Now, as the rulers of the House decline to debate the Senate's historic immigration reform bill, we wonder whether these representatives in Congress remember that they rule at the will of the people, including the "new Americans" who reflect today's America and are an increasing share of the electorate.
Once considered the "third rail" of politics, immigration reform became a political mandate after immigrant communities, including Latinos and Asians, marched to the polls in 2012 to demand a commonsense reform plan that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring citizens now in the country, holds employers accountable and keeps our borders secure.
Public opinion polls have consistently reflected those views and independent analysts agree this type of immigration fix will grow our economy, reduce the federal budget deficit, raise the wage ladder for all U.S. workers and create new jobs by turning undocumented immigrants into legal workers and citizens.
Before the July 4th recess, senators from red, blue and purple states - Democrats, Republicans, Independents and pragmatics - heeded the call for reform and formed a commanding 68-vote Senate majority for an immigration reform bill.
By its vote, the Senate embraced this new wave of American energy that will spark our nation to reinvent itself and grow. Senators saw that good policy also can make good politics, even if their final product had many imperfections.
What about the House of Representatives? What are they so afraid of? Surely, they cannot be afraid that the economy will grow too fast or that communities in their districts will benefit from that growth.
Perhaps the changing demographics have come too rapidly for some who have forgotten that unless you are a full-blooded Native-American or a descendant of ancestors brought here from another land, you are an immigrant or a product of an immigrant. From the time explorers first set foot on this land and created these United States of America, and throughout history, our national heritage has been shaped by our rich and expanding diversity.
If solid immigration reform proposals, combined with economic growth and adherence to our national values do not persuade immigration restrictionists, perhaps simple math will.
Republicans can easily lose 17 House seats in 2014 if they ignore the Latino voter and flip the House to Democratic control, solidifying Democrats' control in Washington. There are 14 "tier 1" with large Latino populations that were narrowly won by the GOP in the last election and where Latino voters can influence the outcome of the next election, plus another 10 "tier 2" districts where Latinos are "quite likely to be influential," according to an in-depth analysis by Latino Decisions.
It would be fool-hardy for Republicans to follow the advice of those who suggest not competing for the Latino vote - the fastest-growing segment of the electorate - and delaying the immigration debate until after the 2014 election.
Immigration reform can be a political win for both parties. Polls show Latinos ready to vote for those who champion commonsense immigration reform, regardless of the member's party affiliation. Latino voters do not want to be taken for granted by Democrats and will not tolerate being ignored by Republicans.
Former President George W. Bush reminded us recently that "it's very important to fix a broken system, to treat people with respect, and have confidence in our capacity to assimilate people," adding, "good policy yields good politics."
This "Gang of Two" from opposite sides of the aisle believes that politicians who work for a comprehensive immigration reform - not enforcement only, as some in the far right have suggested - will find an open hand of friendship at the polls next year.
Those who do not, will find a clenched fist ready to vote against them. Yes, it can even happen during a party primary.
Our nation is ready to take a giant leap forward on the path first laid out by the architects of our democracy more than two centuries ago. The House must not block the bright future that awaits our nation.
Cesar Martinez is a Republican media consultant based in Texas and Gebe Martinez is a communications strategist based in Washington, D.C.
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