WASHINGTON, DC - The following statement was issued by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the National Immigration Forum, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sojourners, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration:
"In the last few months, the national debate on immigration reform has been fraught with questions on the timing of when the U.S. House of Representatives or President Barack Obama would act on addressing our country's heightening moral crisis.
"While we stand united in our belief that both Congress and the president share the responsibility to tackle our broken immigration system, Speaker John Boehner and the House have a real window of opportunity to pass lasting immigration reform legislation by August.
"For the good of the country, we urge Speaker Boehner and his colleagues to seize this moment. After so many promises, inaction now would be more than a lost opportunity; it would be a moral and economic loss.
"During this interim, we strongly urge President Obama and his Administration to allow for this process to take place before issuing administrative action. We believe the President should move cautiously and give the House Leadership all of the space they may need to bring legislation to the floor for a vote.
"Should the House fail to move forward during this window, the Administration will have an obligation to use whatever tools are at its disposal under the law to prevent the tragic family break-ups and economic disruption that has become the daily norm.
"We sincerely hope it will not come to that, because any such administrative reforms must necessarily be partial and temporary compared with what legislation can accomplish.
"Make no mistake, we will not stop pressuring members of the House during this timetable. Our communities, representing workers, civil rights advocates, faith, business and law enforcement from across both sides of the aisle, are determined to urge Congress to deliver immigration reform.
"We know that House leaders can act. We know that nothing stands in their way. The time is now."