National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Updates Archives

The Week Ahead: September 30-October 4

September 30, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"We need to find solutions to these [immigration system] problems, not just continue to find the problems in every possible solution, thereby supporting nothing and ensuring the status quo remains the same. This is one area where most people expect both parties to come together and find a solution, not stand in the corner and shout at each other.”

Rich Beeson, the political director for Romney’s presidential campaign

SUMMARY

Evangelical Community Continues to Mobilize for Immigration Reform
Faith groups are continuing to press for commonsense immigration reform based on biblical and moral values. The Evangelical Immigration Table is ramping up its efforts for October with Pray4Reform events across the country.

Other religious groups are also adding their voices to the clarion call for reform. The Catholic Church is also stepping up its involvement with pilgrimages across the country, in an effort to highlight the plight of immigrants and the need for reform as a moral issue. With at least 84 House Republicans on board for a legalization process, broad coalitions continue to push their members for action on reform that includes legalization — and the opportunity for earned citizenship.

Government Shutdown Threatens to Add to Immigration System Backlog
With the imminent threat of government shutdown, the immigration system stands to suffer further backlogs. Already backed up immigration courts will be working at about 30 percent capacity, while visa, passport and citizenship applications will be further delayed.

Broad immigration reform would actually help to reduce federal and state deficits, increase revenue, reduce debt and create jobs, addressing some of the same problems Congress is facing now in passing a continuing resolution on the budget.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

MUST READ:ASSOCIATED PRESS: House Republicans work immigration behind scenes
By ERICA WERNER
September30, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Immigration overhaul legislation has been dormant in the House for months, but a few Republicans are working behind the scenes to advance it at a time the Capitol is immersed in a partisan brawl over government spending and President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, has been discussing possible legal status for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He’s also been working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a fellow Virginia Republican, on a bill offering citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Reps. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Ted Poe, R-Texas, are working on a plan to create a visa program allowing more lower-skilled workers into the country.
Goodlatte and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, hold out hopes for floor action by late October on a series of immigration bills that already have passed their committees.
“I would think that would be the next agenda item in the queue after we’re done with this mess,” McCaul said this past week, referring to bitter divisions over the health law, the level of government spending and the growing federal debt.
Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_IMMIGRATION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

ARIZONA DAILY STAR: Faith-based groups push for immigration reform
By Perla Trevizo
September 28, 2013
Faith communities across the nation are relying on marches, books and multistate radio ad campaigns to launch bigger and bolder efforts to push for comprehensive immigration legislation this year.
“Our nation can no longer wait,” reads an e-postcard for members of Congress posted on the Justice for Immigrants website — the Catholic campaign for immigration overhaul.
Religious groups have been involved in the immigration debate for years, but they’ve become more united and creative in the effort.
Last summer, the Evangelical Immigration Table launched a $400,000 multistate ad campaign “encouraging prayer and action on common-sense reform” in key congressional districts.
Catholic dioceses across the country sponsored Mass for Immigration Reform services.
A group of nuns rode a bus cross-country holding events on a “journey for justice.”
“Far more conservative groups are getting on board, which in terms evangelical activism, it’s pretty important,” said Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, political science department chair at Gordon College who has written about evangelicals and the immigration issue.
The support from the faith groups could be crucial to the immigration debate, she said. It could give lawmakers on the fence the support they need.
In Arizona, the issue has been important to religious leaders for a long time, said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Tucson Diocese, and efforts will continue until something is done.
“Arizona’s religious, civic and business leaders and its people need to make their voices heard,” Kicanas said. Local events are being planned for November.
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/border/faith-based-groups-push-for-immigration-reform/article_09ed228c-460f-5873-a9c9-435b2b2409e4.html


The Week Ahead: September 23-27

September 23, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I believe every individual is created in the image of God and has value. They should be treated with respect and dignity … It's time to stop ignoring the immigration problems. We're a long way from Ellis Island and the words on the Statue of Liberty.”

— Republican Congressman James Lankford (OK-01) in a Sept. 22 Tulsa World op-ed

SUMMARY

Bibles, Badges and Business Leaders Continue Pressure for Reform
Lawmakers returned to Washington with a full plate of legislative items, but faith, law enforcement and business leaders are making sure that their members of Congress know that immigration reform is still a top priority — and representatives are taking notice. Last week the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), discussed the need to move forward on immigration reform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also met with Congressional leaders in D.C. this past week, while in Texas, Bibles, Badges and Business leaders published a trio of op-eds in the Houston Chronicle about the urgency of immigration reform (see below). The Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network continues to host events across the country, including one this Friday at the Aspen Chamber of Commerce.

Study Highlights Immigrant Contributions
The Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and the Partnership for a New American Economy have released a new report highlighting how immigration helps revitalize communities across the country through the creation and preservation of manufacturing jobs, the increase in housing wealth, and heightened civic engagement.

The study shows that among other benefits, attracting 100,000 new immigrants per year would preserve 4,600 American manufacturing jobs and grow U.S. housing wealth by $80 billion annually, revitalizing cities and allowing businesses to grow.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

MUST READ:HOUSTON CHRONICLE (Garcia Op-Ed): New legislation will offer boost to our public safety
By Adrian Garcia
September 21, 2013
"The arc of the moral universe is long," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "but it bends toward justice."
Likewise, legislation often makes its way through Congress slower than a three-legged mule pulling a plow through a bed of rocks. But the will of the people for comprehensive immigration reform, of the kind that has already been approved by the U.S. Senate, remains strong and intent on shattering political obstacles.
When law enforcement leaders, religious leaders, employers and employees, and U.S. citizens as well as legal residents agree on a pressing issue, the will of the people is expressed. So it is with immigration reform. That's why it is time for the U.S. House to renew its focus on immigration reform and pass a sweeping bill that will fix the broken system we have now.
Without reform, thousands of crime victims in Harris County will continue to be afraid of making outcry to police because of the misguided fear that we will overlook murder, sexual assault, robbery, domestic violence, wage theft and other crimes just to ponder their immigration status.
Most victims of sex slavery and other forms of human trafficking in the U.S. are native-born citizens. But without reform, thousands of foreign women and men forced into prostitution and hard labor within our borders will be harder for us to rescue.
Read more: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Garcia-New-legislation-will-offer-boost-to-our-4832659.php?cmpid=opedhprr
Garcia is sheriff of Harris County.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE (Hammond Op-Ed): Flexibility in border security plan will help economy
By Bill Hammond
September 19, 2013
Texas is on the front line of the current immigration debate. We have seen firsthand the cost of a broken border and the toll it can have on citizens and immigrants alike. There also has been a toll on Texas businesses that can be removed only by Congress and the president putting into place comprehensive immigration reform.
Sealing the border is essential, but loading up the border with more border patrol officers is only part of the answer. Those officers need to focus on criminal activity, such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. Focusing on people who are simply looking for a way to feed their families takes away valuable resources from fighting violent crimes that plague this country.
The real answer to our immigration problem is allowing enough legal immigration to meet the needs of employers. If employers' needs are met, there will be an expanded avenue for people to enter legally and allow for greater focus on those who enter illegally.
Piecemeal plans won't fix the issue. Border security and additional avenues for legal immigration must work in tandem. Border security will never be adequate unless legal immigration is put in place. This is more than a "boots on the ground" problem. It is a supply and demand issue, too. As long as jobs are available, there are immigrants who will access this country by legal or illegal means if it is the only way to support their families.
Read more: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Hammond-Flexibility-in-border-security-plan-will-4828572.php?cmpid=opedhprr
Hammond is president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE (Moore Op-Ed): Reforms can promote family unity, citizenship
By Tim Moore
September 21, 2013
The time to act on immigration reform is now. It's time to move forward to reform our broken immigration system and help heal the nation from the pain a flawed and cruel system of immigration has caused.
Reform is good for the economy, for law enforcement and for the moral fabric of our nation. We should approach it not as a problem but as an opportunity.
In the past month, tens of thousands of evangelicals around the country have become Prayer Partners in the Evangelical Immigration Table's Pray for Reform campaign, during which we are praying for Congress to come together and enact immigration reform. Since the spring, we have had scores of local prayer events and conversations. An evangelical radio ad campaign on immigration has reached every region of the country, with local pastors lending their voices to ads in 16 states.
With support from their congregations, America's evangelical leaders are meeting their moral obligation to address the needs and circumstances of immigrants in our communities and country. Throughout the Bible, God's heart for the immigrant is clear. The word for immigrant appears 92 times in the Old Testament alone, and the New Testament says in no uncertain terms that however we treat the stranger in our midst, it is as though we are treating Jesus himself that way. We support legislation that reflects our Christian values and builds the common good.
Read more: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Moore-Reforms-can-promote-family-unity-4832658.php?cmpid=opedhprr#photo-5217012
Moore is pastor and founder of the Walk Worthy Baptist Church in Austin.

The Week Ahead: September 16-20

September 16, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“You’ve got examples in this community about needs in the evangelical community, among undocumented workers, high-tech industries desperate for employees as well as agriculture in the surrounding area. The issue is hot right now. The time is now. This is it.”

— Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business, in an editorial board meeting with the Waco Tribune

SUMMARY

Citizenship Day Events this Week Honor Contributions of New Americans:
Tomorrow, aspiring Americans, immigration advocates and business leaders with the New Americans Campaign will gather at the Hyatt Regency Washington to celebrate Citizenship Day. The day will start with a 10 a.m. press conference on the connection between citizenship and economic prosperity for new immigrants, their communities and the nation.

The press conference will highlight how businesses are leading the effort to integrate eligible immigrants through programs such as the Bethlehem Project, which works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees. Later in the day, the Bethlehem Project, Hyatt Regency Washington and the International Rescue Committee – Silver Spring will offer two citizenship sessions with as many as 129 immigrant employees eligible for citizenship.

Meanwhile in Coral Gables, Fla., Baptist Health South Florida, also a Bethlehem Project partner, is celebrating Citizenship Day by hosting two separate citizenship sessions for their immigrant employees who are eligible for naturalization.

Back in Washington on Wednesday, the House of Representatives will dedicate an hour of floor time for a discussion on citizenship and the important contributions of immigrants, past and present, to our nation’s economy and society. The Partnership for a New American Economy and Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) also released a timely report last week, highlighting how immigration helps revitalize communities across the country through the creation and preservation of jobs and the increase in housing wealth and home equity.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

MUST READ: COMMERCIAL APPEAL (Memphis, Tenn.) (Op-Ed): Alberto Gonzales: Time for action on immigration reform
By Alberto R. Gonzales
September 11, 2013
It is time for the U.S. House to take action to improve our inadequate immigration system.
An immigration system that ignores millions who are here in this country unlawfully is unfair to those who follow the rules.
Today’s immigration system turns away the talented workers, entrepreneurs and farm workers we need to help grow our economy.
And, by not securing our borders, it puts America at even greater risk at a most dangerous time in the world.
I joined with leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Associated Builders and Contractors trade association, the faith community and several others on Aug. 28 for a roundtable discussion of this issue at the First Amendment Center in Nashville.
It was clear from our discussion that we share the belief that it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to ensure that our laws keep us safe and help keep our economy growing. But to do that, we need meaningful reforms to:
Secure our borders and ensure a level playing field for American workers.
Provide a legal process for large companies and small businesses to hire the workers they need while weeding out the workers who are here illegally.
Read more: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/sep/11/alberto-gonzales-time-for-swift-action-on-reform/
Alberto R. Gonzales is an attorney with the Waller law firm in Nashville and a former United States attorney general. He also holds the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law at Belmont University.

WACO TRIBUNE: Evangelicals, business leaders pushing immigration reform hard: Q&A with Bibles, Badges & Business
September 15, 2013
Local and statewide members of the group Bibles, Badges & Business for Immigration Reform, a national network of faith, law enforcement and business leaders working together to educate and support members of Congress as they consider reforms to our badly flawed immigration system, spent a lively hour with the Tribune-Herald editorial board recently. Among other things, they explained growing pressure by the evangelical movement to exact reforms based on Scripture and Christian tenets as well as common sense; how federal lawmakers’ solution of pumping more money into border patrol instead of staffing ports of entry is wrong-headed; and how immigration reform may falter for years if not passed in Congress this fall.
Meeting with the Trib: Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business; the Rev. Tim Moore, lead pastor of Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Round Rock, and legislative liaison to the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention; McAllen-based Monica Weisberg-Stewart, chairwoman of the Texas Border Coalition’s Immigration and Border Security Committee; Patricia Wilson of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas and Waco’s Seventh & James Baptist Church; the Rev. Ramiro Pena, senior pastor of Christ the King Baptist Church, Waco; Kent McKeever of Mission Waco Legal Services; Nick Haynes of Antioch Community Church, Waco; the Rev. Jim Coston, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Waco; and Craig Nash, community pastor at University Baptist Church, Waco.
Read more: http://www.wacotrib.com/opinion/interviews/evangelicals-business-leaders-pushing-immigration-reform-hard-q-a-with/article_5e2c89f5-24a1-5b7e-a49e-6342c641b373.html

The Week Ahead: September 9-13

September 09, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“We know that the current legal immigration system is broken and should be fixed in a deliberate and responsible manner. That is why the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have produced a number of specific bills which the House may begin considering this fall.”

— House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a memo to House Republican colleagues outlining the legislative agenda for fall 2013, September 6

SUMMARY

Chertoff to Speak in Raleigh; Members of Congress Return to D.C. with Clear Support for Reformn
As members of Congress return to Washington following the summer recess, they continue to hear from their constituents that immigration reform is imperative. At 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C., former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force, will join Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform and the North Carolina Farm Bureau to discuss the current immigration reform debate.

With his experience in a post within the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Chertoff brings a unique perspective and a compelling argument to the case for immigration reform. His comments will be followed by a roundtable of local faith and business leaders. To register or receive livestream information for the event, click .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The event follows an outstanding August for Bibles, Badges and Business leaders, who convened 40 Roundtables for Reform in key congressional districts, held statewide telephonic press conferences in five critical states and recruited conservative leaders to attend at least 65 town halls. This work generated hundreds of news hits, mostly in local media, and garnered more than 1,000 visits to their dedicated recess website (www.BBBwinsAugust.com), as well as strong momentum on social media.

Press Conference to Honor New Americans This Citizenship Day:
Next Tuesday, Sept. 17, aspiring Americans, immigration advocates and business leaders, all a part of the New Americans Campaign, will gather at the Hyatt Regency Washington to celebrate National Citizenship Day with a press conference on the clear connection between citizenship and prosperity for new immigrants, their communities and the nation’s economy.

The event, one of several dozen planned nationwide for National Citizenship Day by the New Americans Campaign, will highlight how businesses are leading the effort to integrate eligible immigrants through programs such as the Bethlehem Project. This innovative program works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process, through the assistance of local service providers.

Later in the day, the Bethlehem Project, Hyatt Regency Washington and the International Rescue Committee – Silver Spring will offer the first step in the citizenship process to Hyatt’s eligible employees. Over the next few months, this partnership will continue to offer additional services to these employees as they seek to become citizens and fulfill their American dream.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

WASHINGTON POST (Editorial): Immigration reform hits a GOP hurdle
By Editorial Board
September 8, 2013
THOSE SEEKING a standard-bearer for the do-nothing Congress need look no farther than Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican. When it comes to delay, denial and delusion, Mr. Goodlatte is an exemplar.
Mr. Goodlatte is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which handles measures to overhaul the nation’s badly broken immigration system. The Senate, with support from Democrats and some Republicans, approved broad immigration legislation in June. But Mr. Goodlatte and his Republican colleagues have declared it dead on arrival in the GOP-led House — even though it would likely have the votes for passage if it were allowed on the floor for a vote.
Instead, Mr. Goodlatte’s panel has passed a handful of piecemeal immigration bills, all of which avoid the main issue, which is what to do about the 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. Those bills passed without Democratic support and stand no chance of success on the House floor, where some Republican lawmakers are wary of voting for any immigration bill, no matter how narrow, for fear it could become a vehicle for compromise (gasp!) with the Senate.
All this is fine with Mr. Goodlatte, who told the Wall Street Journal that it’s okay to simply debate the immigration mess without doing anything to fix it.
“We pass bills all the time that don’t get passed all the way through and signed into law, because we want to spell out to the American people what we think the right solutions to our problems are,” he said. “I don’t believe immigration reform should be any different than that.”
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/immigration-reform-hits-a-gop-hurdle/2013/09/08/15f6f69e-1672-11e3-a2ec-b47e45e6f8ef_story.html

FOX NEWS LATINO (Fitz Op-Ed): Immigration Reform’s Demise? Greatly Exaggerated
By Marshall Fitz
September 6, 2013
Here’s a prediction you don’t often hear from inside the beltway: Immigration reform that strengthens border security, grows the economy, and gives 11 million undocumented immigrants an eventual shot at citizenship will be signed into law within the next few months. That is most definitely not the prevailing view of political reporters who seem hell-bent on writing the obituary for immigration reform.
Naming the next reason Congress won’t pass commonsense immigration legislation has become a D.C. parlor game. But the game is getting old because it should be obvious to all that if immigration reform crashes, there will be one and only one reason: a failure of leadership by House Republicans.
The naysayers – pundits and press - first asserted that President Obama only wanted to use immigration as a political cudgel; but the administration gave the Senate space to maneuver legislatively while supporting the process and keeping the urgency high. Then the narrative shifted to why cost concerns would kill the legislative effort; but the Congressional Budget Office concluded that reform would lower the deficit by $820 billion over the next 20 years. Cynics then maintained that a divided Senate could not reach 60 votes on anything controversial; but the bill passed with 68 Ayes. More recently the rationale portending defeat was that a nativist grassroots uprising over summer recess would scare Congress to inaction; but pro-reform forces out-hustled, out-muscled, and out-classed restrictionist opponents in August – it wasn’t even close.
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/opinion/2013/09/06/immigration-reforms-demise-greatly-exaggerated/
Marshall Fitz is Director of Immigration Policy at American Progress where he directs the Center’s research and analysis of economic, political, legal, and social impacts of immigration policy in America.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (Dolan Op-Ed): Immigration reform: A moral imperative
By Cardinal Timothy Dolan
September 6, 2013
As Congress comes back into session, it has a once-in-a-generation chance to fix our broken immigration system.
We cannot let this opportunity pass. Immigration reform would help families, it would help our economy and it would improve our security. Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
Pope Francis recently reminded us that “the measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need.” For generations, men and women have come to America’s shores in search of a better life for themselves and their families, and we’re justly proud of our heritage as a nation that welcomes people of good will.
But today, no one can be proud of the enormous underclass of undocumented workers that’s been allowed to form — millions of our neighbors who live on the margins, have their families fractured and are easily exploited.
We can’t be proud of the hundreds of migrants who die in the American desert each year in their quest to support their families back home.
We can’t be indifferent to these profound humanitarian problems. No wonder that, around the country, Catholics and citizens of other creeds are on the front lines in providing a compassionate response, as they were with Rev. Martin Luther King a half-century ago.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/immigration-reform-moral-imperative-article-1.1447192#ixzz2eK9OTZHa
Dolan is archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.



The Week Ahead: September 3-6

September 03, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“We have to address [immigration reform]. It’s a moral issue … I am open to finding what I believe is morally the right thing. No law-abiding person should live in the shadows.”

— GOP Representative Steve Southerland (FL-02), during an August 30 meeting with the Miami Herald

SUMMARY

Bibles, Badges and Business Seals an August Recess Win
As summer comes to an end, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network (BBB) is making its final push of an already successful August recess in preparation for Congress members’ return to Washington.

At dozens of events across the country, House members home for August and the first week of September have received strong support for moving broad immigration reform forward this fall. During this final week, local faith, law enforcement and business leaders will push for reform at a meeting in Cincinnati and a roundtable in Centennial, Colo.

Already, BBB efforts have generated more than 300 news clips. Stay up to date at www.bbbwinsaugust.com — and be on the lookout for a collection of some of the most important news hits to emerge from the August recess.

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff to Address Immigration Reform
On Sept. 10 in Raleigh, N.C., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform and the North Carolina Farm Bureau are hosting a discussion with former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force, at the North Carolina Farm Bureau Headquarters in Raleigh. As lead negotiator in the 2007 immigration reform attempts, Secretary Chertoff has a unique perspective to bring to the current immigration reform debate. To register for the event click here.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

MUST READ: MIAMI HERALD: Tea partier Rep. Steve Southerland voices immigration-reform support
By Marc Caputo
August 30, 2013
Conservative tea party Congressman Steve Southerland has become the latest Republican to voice support for the concept of a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.
“We have to address it. It’s a moral issue,” Southerland, who represents a conservative Deep South district encompassing Panama City and Tallahassee, told The Miami Herald during a Friday meeting in Miami.
Southerland’s support isn’t full-throated or guaranteed. He said he needs to see the details of actual legislation. He wants strict, real and fast border security.
But Southerland's comments are another sign that immigration reform still has a shot in the GOP-held U.S. House of Representatives, where a handful of Republicans have indicated new support for immigration reform during congress’ August recess.
During that time Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has been working to persuade about a dozen in the GOP to back immigration reform, provide their input or not be too vocal in opposing it.
Southerland said he speaks frequently to Diaz-Balart. But he gave a big amount of credit for his views on immigration reform to a college graduate named Juan Espinoza, who spoke up at a Tallahassee town hall this month.
Brought to this country when he was four, Espinoza told Southerland that he has two college degrees and wants to stay in the country he was raised in, but he’s not a citizen nor is he here illegally.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/30/v-fullstory/3596607/tea-partier-rep-steve-southerland.html

GANNETT: Evangelicals air pro-immigration ads targeting lawmakers in 14 states, including Alabama
GANNETT: Evangelicals air pro-immigration ads targeting lawmakers in 14 states, including Alabama
By Mary Orndorff Troyan, Gannett Washington Bureau
August 31, 2013
WASHINGTON — A national coalition of evangelicals supporting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants has been targeting the Birmingham-area district of Rep. Spencer Bachus as part of a national radio campaign that started last week in 14 states.
The Evangelical Immigration Table is spending $400,000 on radio ads on Christian and talk radio stations in 56 congressional districts to support immigration legislation that would secure the border, keep immigrant families together and give some of those in the country illegally a chance to earn citizenship.
The ads are playing while lawmakers are in their districts during the final weeks of Congress’ summer recess, which ends Sept. 9.
“They will return to Washington knowing they have support at home for taking action on reform,” said Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research with the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Organizers said the 56 Republican districts were chosen because those members are on committees that play a key role in the immigration debate, or they have a strong evangelical community. Both would be true of Alabama’s 6th congressional district.
The district includes Birmingham’s suburbs and some of the city’s largest and most influential churches.
In addition, Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where the GOP is hashing out immigration legislation.
Bachus is already receptive to the evangelical campaign. The veteran lawmaker — who did not favor Alabama’s tough immigration law — supports a path to citizenship for those who have earned it.
“I don’t think we ought to have two classes of long-term residents,” Bachus said recently on Capitol Hill.
Read more: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130831/NEWS02/308310044/Evangelicals-air-pro-immigration-ads-targeting-lawmakers-14-states-including-Alabama

Get Email Updates



Updates Daily News Clips
Crossroads Campaign Solutions