National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: October 28 - November 1

October 28, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I believe the issue [of immigration reform] will come to the floor and I support bringing it to the floor … I want to deal with this issue in the right way. In a way that will honor God, honor humanity, and honor America, and keep the cause of freedom as much alive in this world as it can be.”

— Republican Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08)

SUMMARY

Conservatives Bring National Consensus on Immigration Reform to the Capitol:
Over 600 leaders from more than 100 congressional districts around the country are coming to Washington, D.C., tomorrow for “Americans for Reform: Immigration Reform for our Economy, Faith and Security.” The “fly-in” is co-hosted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network, FWD.us and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

At tomorrow’s breakfast panel discussion, open to press, conservative faith, business and law enforcement leaders from across the country will speak to the moral, economic and security imperatives for immigration reform. Tuesday morning panels will be live streamed here.

After the morning event at the U.S. Chamber, these conservative voices are bringing their unified message to the halls of Congress as they meet with their legislators on Capitol Hill. The message they are sending is clear: The House must move forward on broad, bipartisan immigration reform.

Keepers of the American Dream Awards to Celebrate Immigrant Achievement:
On Wednesday, the National Immigration Forum will host the Keepers of the American Dream Awards, which recognize and celebrate distinguished individuals, foundations and corporations that have demonstrated real leadership on behalf of immigrants.

This 13th annual event celebrates people who embody the spirit of immigrant achievement and the American Dream, who contribute significantly to the well-being of immigrants in America, and who enhance our appreciation of immigrants and the immigrant tradition. Honorees this year include Cesar Alvarez, Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig; José Andrés, Award-winning Chef and Restaurateur; Ralph and Cheryl Broetje, Co-founders of Vista Hermosa Foundation; and Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), receiving on behalf of SEIU’s leaders & members.

For more information, please visit www.immigrationforum.org/keepers.

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:NEW YORK TIMES: Immigration Poses Threat of Another Republican Rift
By ERIC LIPTON and ASHLEY PARKER
October 25, 2013
WASHINGTON — A push to bring immigration legislation to the House floor, led by an unusual coalition of business executives, prominent conservatives and evangelical leaders, threatens to create another schism in the Republican Party and could have a noticeable effect on campaign contributions before the midterm elections.
Several Republican executives and donors who are part of a lobbying blitz coming to Capitol Hill next week said they were considering withholding, or had already decided to withhold, future financial support to Republican lawmakers they believe are obstructing progress on immigration.
“I respect people’s views and concerns about the fact that we have a situation in the United States where we have millions of undocumented immigrants,” said Justin Sayfie, a lawyer from Florida who said he helped Mitt Romney raise more than $100,000 for his presidential campaign last year, in addition to helping other Republican candidates. “But we have what we have. This is October 2013. And the country will be better off if we fix it.”
Capitol Hill has for months been the focus of immigration advocates urging lawmakers to take up one of the four measures that have been approved by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee. What is different about next week’s lobbying effort is that it will include about 600 mostly conservative leaders in business, agriculture and religion who will focus on 80 representatives from 40 states — all of them Republican.
The effort comes just weeks after House conservatives alienated many longtime supporters, including much of corporate America, by trying to block financing for Mr. Obama’s health care law, a move widely blamed for the government shutdown. The intraparty tension that was apparent in the budget standoff could resurface in the immigration fight, though the sides may not align in exactly the same way.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/us/politics/conservative-coalition-presses-house-republicans-to-act-on-immigration.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&ref=politics

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Franks supports citizenship, expects House vote on immigration
By Dan Nowicki & Rebekah L. Sanders
October 26, 2013
Immigration activists who camped outside U.S. Rep. Trent Franks’ house Friday hoping to talk to him said their optimism that Congress will act on sweeping reforms was renewed after a rare encounter with the Republican congressman.
Over a 25-minute conversation and a group prayer with Franks, the congressman indicated he could support a path to citizenship — though he did not go into specifics — and said that he expects a vote on immigration legislation in the House.
Franks’ office did not immediately return a request Saturday for more information.
The Promise Arizona activists set up a prayer vigil outside Franks’ Peoria home, as well as a mock dinner table with an empty chair to symbolize a deported family member. Both actions were meant to call on Franks’ Christian faith and advocacy on family issues.
Activists believe there is enough bipartisan support in the House to pass immigration reform, but that a segment of Republicans that are in opposition are keeping House Speaker John Boehner from holding a vote. Activists are trying to increase pressure on the GOP to act, even as only 19 congressional working days remain before the end of the year.
Among the thorniest issues is whether to open a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants. Some Republicans oppose the idea completely, while others say they might support it but with more restrictions than Democrats are proposing. Though Franks sits on the Judiciary Committee in charge of developing much of the immigration legislation, he has weighed in on the issue very little.
Flanked by his wife and 5-year-old twins, Franks told the activists he could support citizenship for current illegal immigrants.
“I’m one of those that does not believe that people having been in this country… illegally now should be barred from that path to citizenship because we have not enforced the law,” he said, according to activists who recorded the conversation. “At the same time, I don’t want to do something that creates a special path to citizenship that creates an incentive for more people to come illegally.”
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/insiders/azdc/2013/10/26/franks-supports-citizenship-expects-house-vote-on-immigration/

The Week Ahead: October 21-25

October 21, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I believe Christians must take seriously what scripture says about welcoming, loving and providing for the foreigner in our midst … Individuals may have different views about immigration reform or about a particular piece of legislation, but to limit our nation’s economic potential, block aspiring citizens from fully contributing to our society, separate families, deprive employers of a stable workforce, hinder law enforcement’s ability to work with immigrant communities to keep all of us safe, and force millions to live in the shadows is not Christian or biblical.”

— Mike McClenahan, senior pastor of Solana Beach (Calif.) Presbyterian Church, in an Oct. 17 op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune

SUMMARY

Immigration Reform is Next
A Bibles, Badges and Business co-sponsored “fly-in” to Washington, D.C., next week and a powerful evangelical week of prayer underscore the unified message moderate and conservative leaders are sending to Congress: With budget and debt debates settled for the moment, now is the time to move broad, bipartisan immigration reform forward.

Already, nearly 300 leaders from more than 50 congressional districts around the country have registered to attend the Oct. 28-29 fly-in, part of BBB’s fall Ready for Reform campaign. Also hosting the event are the Partnership for a New American Economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and FWD.us. The fly-in will feature a breakfast panel discussion, open to press, featuring nationally acclaimed conservative leaders in faith, business, law enforcement and politics, as well as meetings with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, in the latest push in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign, members of the evangelical community have gathered at more than 400 prayer events and gatherings in 40 states in the past two weeks as part of “Pray4Reform: Gathered Together in Jesus’ Name.” From Florida to Michigan to Colorado and beyond, local evangelical Christians gathered to pray for immigrants, for Congress and for immigration reform rooted in biblical values. In addition, today the Evangelical Immigration Table sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives, commending their work on immigration so far and urging reform that includes the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship.

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 WATCH: Central Fla. evangelicals pray for immigration reform
October 18, 2013
http://wftv.com/news/news/local/central-floridians-pray-immigration-reform/nbR4J/


MUST READ: POLITICO: Immigration reform groups resume fight
By SEUNG MIN KIM
October 21, 2013
With the brutal fiscal fight now in Capitol Hill’s rearview mirror, immigration reform advocates from across the spectrum are ramping up the pressure on lawmakers to pass a far-reaching overhaul this year.
The more aggressive wing of the immigration reform community is launching a “week of escalation” that will target the top three House GOP leaders and roughly two dozen other Republican lawmakers. Their goal is a vote on immigration reform this year. And the Evangelical Immigration Table is releasing a letter Monday signed by top faith leaders — a missive that comes amid a nationwide prayer blitz for reform.
There’s a glimmer of hope that the House will pass immigration reform this year, but after the shutdown’s end, it’s faint at best. Although the Senate passed comprehensive reform in June, most House Republicans remain highly skeptical of such sweeping overhauls, and there’s no indication that chamber will move its own package of reform bills anytime soon.
Nonetheless, advocates are resuming the fight.
“The dynamics on this are very different than what we saw on the fiscal issue,” said Ali Noorani, who leads the pro-reform National Immigration Forum. “We’re seeing this groundswell of support for reform from the right; … we don’t see that groundswell from both sides of the spectrum on any other issue.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/immigration-reform-groups-resume-fight-98581.html


MUST READ:SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE (McClenahan Op-Ed): Broken immigration system brings real, personal problem
By Mike McClenahan
October 17, 2013
I have become an accidental advocate for immigration reform. As senior pastor at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, I lead a congregation that has dedicated itself to building relationships with our immigrant neighbors through tutoring, a college-prep program, adult and preschool literacy, as well as worshipping and serving together in the community and around the world.
Because of those relationships, the problems that result from our broken immigration system are not hypothetical but very personal. In the church we live in covenant relationships. When a child is baptized we commit to helping parents raise their children. Therefore, children living in fear of their parents’ deportation are not “their” children but “our” children.
As Christians with strong family values we inherently understand the importance of keeping families together and we see the urgent need for immigration laws that promote this family unity. Members of our church have formed the North County Immigration and Citizenship Center to help children and adults living in fear and stuck in a broken immigration process.
Lasting and comprehensive immigration reform rooted in biblical values will give these children — many of whom are citizens — the chance to leave fear behind and contribute to our society with all of their God-given potential. I’ve been inspired by the stories of dozens of first-generation Hispanic college students from our church attending four-year schools across the country, preparing to make a difference and serve our community.
Read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/17/broken-immigration-system-brings-real-personal/
McClenahan is the senior pastor of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

The Week Ahead: October 15-18

October 15, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I'm not an advocate of open borders. I'm not an advocate of blanket amnesty. I just see (undocumented immigrants) who are hurting and want to contribute to their family ... and the system is not working for them.”

Jeremy Hudson, Pastor of Fellowship Christian Church in House Speaker John Boehner’s Ohio district, on why he will come to D.C. and urge reform Oct. 28-29

SUMMARY

Evangelical Christians’ Week of Prayer Includes Hundreds of Events, Gatherings:
Across the country, members of the evangelical community are gathering at events and in small groups this week as part of the “Pray4Reform: Gathered Together in Jesus’ Name” week of prayer. Evangelical Christians are praying for immigration reform rooted in biblical values at more than 400 prayer events and gatherings, the latest push in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign. Nationwide, more than 175,000 people have signed on to the effort as prayer partners, and this week’s gatherings are taking place in more than 40 states.

Faith, Law Enforcement and Business Leaders Keep Pressure on Lawmakers:
Starting with a successful event in Las Vegas on Monday, Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform leaders are urging their members of Congress to move reform forward as soon as possible with events this week in Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and Utah. The BBB network continues to plan events across the country as part of their Ready4Reform campaign, in advance of a large-scale “fly-in” in Washington, D.C., later this month. With immigration reform next on Congress’ full agenda this fall, Bibles, Badges and Business leaders across the country are stressing the urgency of broad, bipartisan reform.

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:USA TODAY: Conservative 'fly-in' aims to sell House GOP on immigration
By Alan Gomez
October 14, 2013
About 300 conservatives will arrive on Capitol Hill later this month to press the need for immigration overhaul.
Participants in the "fly-in" say they can better speak to the conservative members of the House Coalition sponsoring event includes U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for a New American Economy, and FWD.us Senate has passed a version of immigration bill; action is stalled in House
WASHINGTON — During a rally on the National Mall last week, thousands of immigrants, union workers, civil rights activists and Democratic leaders called on the Republican-controlled House to pass a bill to revamp the nation's immigration system.
But a much smaller group heading to Capitol Hill later this month may be more influential over Republicans who are skeptical that an overhaul is a good idea.
About 300 conservatives from around the country and with varying backgrounds — pastors, farmers, police chiefs, business owners — will arrive in Washington on Oct. 28 to meet with Republican lawmakers and make a conservative pitch for a new immigration law.
Participants in the "fly-in" say they can better speak to the conservative members of the U.S. House since they share many ideals on government.
"I'm not an advocate of open borders. I'm not an advocate of blanket amnesty. I just see (undocumented immigrants) who are hurting and want to contribute to their family ... and the system is not working for them," said Jeremy Hudson, a pastor whose Fellowship Christian Church operates in House Speaker John Boehner's Ohio district.
The fly-in is being organized not by conservative groups, but organizations that have focused on legalizing millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally and changing the legal immigration system to bring in more foreign workers.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a group that has advocated for changes in immigration law to help legal and undocumented immigrants for three decades, said the broad collection coming to Washington represents "the conservative base of the Republican Party."
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/14/immigration-house-republicans/2961571/

Policy Update: Immigration Reform and the Government Shutdown

October 09, 2013 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

Government Shutdown Complicates Politics, Timeline

Beginning October 1, the government had no money to continue operations into a new fiscal year that began on that day. By the end of September (the end of the federal government’s fiscal year 2013), Congress had completed none of the 12 appropriations bills it must pass to keep the various government agencies running. Instead, the House and the Senate had drafted a “continuing resolution” to keep the government running at the same spending level as approved for fiscal year 2013. However, House Republicans attached provisions to delay or scrap parts of the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats in the Senate could not agree to (nor could the president), and so government workers were sent home and government properties were closed.

Many of the immigration functions of the government are still operating under provisions that allow for continuation of those functions essential to the protection of life and property, national security, or which are funded by fees. Many Customs and Border Protection functions, including Border Patrol and staffing at ports of entry, are considered essential and exempt from furlough, as is much of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, including detention and removal. USCIS is fee-funded, and so will continue as normal, though E-Verify, operated with appropriated funds, is down during the shutdown. Some immigration-related functions, though, will be shut down. For example, at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) there are no hearings for non-detained individuals (meaning already lengthy court backlogs well get longer) and no travel will be provided for most refugees approved to resettle in the U.S.

The standoff over the budget and the debt ceiling is not exactly building goodwill between the parties, and as of this writing it is not clear when and how the standoff will end. Most observers believe a majority of Congress would like to move on, but, a group of hard-liners has divided the Republicans in Congress, and has managed to bring Congress to the edge of a cliff.

The growing animosity will factor in to Congressional business for the remainder of the session. However, as public opinion turns away from Republicans who have pressed the shutdown strategy, more moderate members may decide to show the public that Republicans can tackle serious problems. As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post pointed out in this article (written before the shutdown):


    “If Republicans get pasted politically in the coming government shutdown and debt limit fights, it’s not impossible they’ll be looking for some way to prove they can address the country’s problems.”

This sentiment was echoed by conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, as the shutdown entered its second week:

    “A setback for the Republican absolutists on the [continuing resolution and] debt ceiling may loosen their grip on immigration reform while emboldening moderates to stake out a viable approach to immigration reform.”

Immigration Reform is one of the few non-budget issues queued up for action, post-shutdown, with the Senate having already passed a bill and several bills in the House ready for floor action. It should be noted, furthermore, that the various “windows” that have been discussed in the press during which immigration reform may move in Congress are simply the current opportunities based on the projected Congressional calendar. However, ultimately the leadership of the House and Senate can determine when immigration reform, or any legislation, can move, and hopes for immigration reform in this Congress don’t become exhausted until the session ends at the end of 2014. While conventional wisdom indicates that difficult issues requiring bipartisan support such as immigration reform are harder to accomplish during an election year, they are not impossible; in fact most major immigration legislation in the last 25 years has been enacted in election years.

House Leaders Believe Reform is Still Possible

For their part, House Republican leaders continue to say that immigration reform will be taken up by the House this year. Most recently, interviewed for a segment of Univision’s “Al Punto” that aired October 6, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said that there was still time for a compromise on immigration.

    “We must pass immigration reform. It’s a priority for Republicans, for Democrats. There’s a recognition that it’s important to America. It’s important to our economy. America has long been the land of immigrants.”

Meanwhile, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), has said that, yes, fixing the immigration system is important, and that something must be done about the undocumented resident population (as long as there is no “special path” to citizenship). He continues to say that the House rejects the Senate approach, and that the House will continue to take its “step-by-step” approach of piecemeal reform.

In the end, though, just as with a real stairway, all the steps have to be in place in order to get to the next level. If it were a house, missing steps might lead to a lawsuit; with immigration reform, leaving out the step leading to a path to citizenship will have electoral consequences. As this commentary in the Washington Post notes, Hispanic media is carefully watching the immigration debate, and is ready to blame Republicans if there ultimately is no immigration reform with a path to citizenship. That will compound the problem Republicans already have with Latino voters. There have been many public opinion surveys of Hispanic voters demonstrating that immigration reform is important to these voters. In this Public Religion Research Institute survey of Hispanic voters, respondents were three times more likely to be identified with the Democratic Party than with the Republican Party, and two thirds said they felt closer to the Democratic Party than they did in the past. More than half said they would be less likely to support a candidate who opposes immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.

House “Gang of Eight” Breaks Apart, Democrats Introduce Immigration Bills

On September 20, two more Republicans Representatives departed the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” that had been working on a comprehensive immigration reform bill since before the beginning of this Congress. Representatives John Carter (R-Texas) and Sam Johnson (R-Texas) released a statement saying they did not trust the Obama administration to enforce the law, but in the end, the Republican members of the group were just not getting support from Republican leadership.

The demise of the Gang of Eight provided the opportunity for reform advocates in the House, who had deferred to the bipartisan group, to move forward, and on September 21, Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Filemon Vela (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 3163, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act (CIR ASAP). This bill is similar to one introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez in 2009. Its provisions are more generous than the bipartisan reform bill that passed the Senate. (A summary of the bill can be found here, and a brief comparison of CIR ASAP and the Senate bill is contained in this release from Grijalva’s office.

On October 2, a group of Democratic members of the House introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, H.R. 15. The bill is a House version of the bill that passed the Senate in June, with some important exceptions. The main difference is in the border enforcement provisions. In the House bill, border provisions come from a bill introduced by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. That bill (H.R. 1417, the Border Security Results Act) passed the committee with unanimous bipartisan support in May. The McCaul bill substitutes for the controversial Corker-Hoeven border enforcement provisions included in the Senate-passed bill.

While the bill was introduced by Democrats (and now has 178 co-sponsors), it is composed of provisions that won bipartisan support in the Senate and (in the case of the border provisions) in the House. (A summary of the bill, noting changes from the Senate bill, can be found here.) While these bills are unlikely to gain much Republican support, their introduction provides some impetus for Republicans to move forward with their own proposals that can move the process forward to a conference with the Senate.

Pressure for Reform Continues

On October 5, advocates around the country staged rallies, marches, and other events in support of immigration reform. In all, there were more than 180 events in 40 states. These events were followed by a rally in Washington on October 8 in which nearly 200 leaders, including eight members of Congress, were arrested in a civil disobedience action. Advocates say this is the beginning of an escalation of pressure on Congress to pass reform. During the month of October, there will be many efforts representing many points on the political spectrum to prod Congress into action.

For example, during the period October 12 - 20, Evangelical Christian advocates for reform are planning more than 300 events in 40 states. The events will focus on praying for immigrants and lawmakers, and for action on immigration reform that reflects biblical values. At the end of October, hundreds of faith, law enforcement and business leaders from across the country will come to Washington for a series of events, including meetings with members of Congress, a panel discussion program featuring conservative leaders in faith, business, law enforcement and politics, and a press conference. The Washington gathering will be accompanied by a digital grassroots effort in targeted congressional districts and an ad campaign.

While Washington Remains Stuck, States Move Forward

With federal immigration reform stalled in Congress, a number of states have moved forward, passing laws to accommodate and integrate resident undocumented immigrants.

In California, Governor Brown signed a bill on October 3 allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses. On October 5, the governor signed a raft of immigration bills including the TRUST Act, which prohibits law enforcement officials from detaining undocumented immigrants on the basis of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold except under certain conditions such as having committed a serious criminal offense. Other bills signed: make it a crime to threaten to report the immigration status of an individual; place certain restrictions or requirements on individuals providing immigration assistance related to DACA or comprehensive immigration reform; loosen tuition requirements for certain foreign students in community colleges and the California State University; and create penalties against employers who retaliate against employees on the basis of citizenship state. “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead. I’m not waiting,” Governor Brown said in a release announcing the signing.

While California is now the largest state to offer drivers’ licenses to the undocumented, it was only the latest of seven other states to do so this year. The measures relating to drivers’ licenses and other efforts to accommodate undocumented immigrants in the states are documented in this publication from the National Immigration Law Center.

Mexican Embassy Launches Consular Services Smartphone App

On October 7, the Mexican Government launched a new app for mobile phones, “MiConsulmex.” The app is targeted to the Mexican community in the U.S., and provides information related to Mexican consular services and outreach. Among other services, this application will allow its users to find the nearest consulate and schedule an appointment in the MEXITEL online service. It also contains current information about the immigration reform debate and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A flyer about the app (in Spanish) can be downloaded here, and the app itself is available here for Apple and here for Android devices.

The Week Ahead: October 8-11

October 07, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“[Speaker John Boehner] over the last few weeks has continued to talk about the importance of the House moving forward on immigration reform. I believe that we have a window here between now and the end of the year and that this is a priority.”

— Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, in a Univision interview

SUMMARY

Immigration Still Next on the Docket for Congress:
Even with a full plate and a government shutdown, members of House leadership have made it clear that immigration reform is still on the top of the list for this fall. Over the weekend, Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) reaffirmed that immigration reform is a priority before the end of the year and that the House intends to take it up.

And last week, Republican Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-10) reiterated his support for reform in an op-ed he penned for the Modesto Bee, citing his meetings with members of the business and faith communities in his district as particularly influential.

The window for immigration reform that was always expected later this fall is still open, and the House shows promising signs of working toward a long overdue solution.

Nationwide Push for Immigration Reform Continues:
Across the country, members of the faith, law enforcement, business and advocacy communities continue to press their legislators on the need for immigration reform — successfully. More and more members are realizing the power of this ever-growing chorus of voices from across the political and vocational spectrum.

Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform continues its steady stream of events as well. Events across the country are reminding lawmakers that immigration reform is still a top priority for their constituents. As just one example, on Oct. 14, leaders from the faith, law enforcement and business communities of the Mountain West will meet in Las Vegas for a panel discussion and prayer gathering to underscore the importance of immigration and the urgent need for reform. As the month progresses, follow the conversation on Twitter at #Ready4Reform.

Meanwhile, the Evangelical Immigration Table is planning a week of prayer events across the country for immigration reform, as part of its ongoing Pray for Reform efforts. Dozens of events are taking place Oct. 12-20 in all parts of the country. A press call with local leaders of these efforts is in the works for Wednesday.

Last but not least, the Catholic community also is mobilizing this fall, with pilgrimages across the country to call for immigration reform. A 150-mile pilgrimage this week began today near Orlando and ends Oct. 14 in Tampa.

Members of Congress are hearing the message loud that clear that across the board, Americans want comprehensive immigration reform, and Congress must act soon.

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:MODESTO BEE (Denham Op-Ed): U.S. must provide a ‘pathway to citizenship’
By Jeff Denham
October 4, 2013
I have met with community groups, business owners, faith-based leaders and individual constituents throughout our district to discuss our broken immigration system. One of the most contentious issues regards a so-called pathway to citizenship.
It is a difficult topic, because everyone I meet has a different understanding of what a “pathway” means. I want to outline my vision of what such a pathway should look like.
Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I am committed to finding a way for individuals to earn a legal status in our country and get right with the law without creating a “special” pathway that is not available to others who have followed the legal process toward citizenship.
Providing an opportunity for many of the 11 million undocumented people living here to earn legal status is the only way to create a long-term solution to our broken system. The solution we design in the House must also secure our border and ensure enforcement of our laws. Without a secure border and the rule of law, we will repeat the same mistakes of the past.
I support a pathway to earned citizenship that starts by requiring those applying to learn English, pay fines and back taxes, and wait in line behind those who have already applied for citizenship legally.
The Senate’s proposal establishes a three-step process to earned citizenship, following current law for achieving both a green card and ultimately citizenship, if desired.
Read more: http://www.modbee.com/2013/10/04/2957052/rep-denham-spells-out-support.html

POLITICO: Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Immigration a ‘priority’ for this year
By Seung Min Kim
October 5, 2013
A top House Republican says in an upcoming interview that the chamber will take up immigration reform in 2013, insisting that “there’s still time” for a comprehensive rewrite despite the rapidly dwindling time left on this year’s calendar.
Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said during an interview with Univision’s “Al Punto” that top leaders are still discussing when to bring immigration bills to the House floor.
Speaker John Boehner “over the last few weeks has continued to talk about the importance of the House moving forward on immigration reform,” McMorris Rodgers said, according to a transcript provided by Univision. “I believe that we have a window here between now and the end of the year and that this is a priority.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, the House Republicans’ point man on immigration reform, has said the House needs to take up bills “the sooner the better” on the House floor. And House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas — whose panel has passed a border-security bill and is poised to take up a biometric exit system bill on Wednesday – has said he believes the House will take up immigration bills near the end of October.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/cathy-mcmorris-rodgers-immigration-97878.html

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