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The Week Ahead: January 27-31

January 27, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Like many other evangelical leaders, I’ve urged our federal legislators to pursue solutions that would get to the roots of our immigration challenges by pursuing reforms consistent with biblical principles … Even as I applaud Gov. (Rick) Snyder’s hospitality, I urge Congress to solve the root of our problem: our immigration system is broken, and the economic impact is only the beginning of the ways that it hurts America.”

— Rev. Joel Boot, Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, in a Jan. 26 op-ed in the Grand Rapids Press

SUMMARY

Immigration Takes Center Stage This Week
During quite a busy week for Congress, immigration reform is proving to be one of the most discussed issues. With the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) — a supporter of immigration reform — giving the Republican response, we can expect a focus from both parties on the need to move forward with reform in 2014.

Quickly on the heels of the State of the Union, House Republicans set out for their annual retreat on Wednesday, where leaders intend to discuss Republican standards for immigration reform and the path forward in the House. Early speculation suggests that the standards will be broad but a solid step forward toward reform.

From Speaker John Boehner (OH-08), to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) to Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-01), House Republican leaders continue to show their intent to address immigration reform this Congress.

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 READS: ASSOCIATED PRESS: Ryan: House will take up immigration in pieces
By Paul J. Weber
Jan. 23, 2014
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday told Texas business leaders eager for changes to immigration laws that House Republicans will tackle reform in pieces and ruled out negotiations with the Senate on its comprehensive measure.
The Wisconsin Republican didn't offer a timetable ahead of next week's GOP House caucus annual retreat, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said immigration will top the agenda.
Supporters of an immigration overhaul are renewing hopes that 2014 could bring the first sweeping changes in decades. Ryan expressed optimism at a luncheon hosted by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce but reiterated an insistence among GOP lawmakers that reforms happen piecemeal.
"Let's just say it's eight bills — I don't know. These will represent a smart approach," Ryan said. "We don't want to get into a situation where we end up with some big 1,000-page bill. But we do realize there are things that have to be sequenced."
The Senate last year passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addressed border security, provided enforcement measures and offered a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Ryan made it clear that if the Republican-led House passes a handful of immigration bills, it won't enter talks with the Democratic-led Senate on its legislation.
Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ryan-house-will-take-immigration-pieces

NEW YORK TIMES: House Republicans to Offer Broad Immigration Plan
By Ashley Parker and Jonathan Weisman
January 25, 2014
WASHINGTON — House Republicans are preparing to unveil their own broad template for overhauling the nation’s immigration system this week, potentially offering a small opening for President Obama and congressional Democrats to pass bipartisan legislation before the end of the year.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders are expected to release a one-page statement of immigration principles this week at their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., according to aides with knowledge of the plan. The document is expected to call for border security and enforcement measures, as well as providing a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, the aides said.
The Republican effort comes as Mr. Obama is expected to push once again for an overhaul of the immigration system in his State of the Union address Tuesday, and as lawmakers from both parties describe immigration as one of the few potential areas for bipartisan compromise before the end of the current Congress.
“The principles they lay out I’m sure won’t satisfy everybody,” Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, said at an immigration forum on Friday. But, he added, “if we can make some compromises here for the good of the country, I think we have a very good chance for the first time in a long time of changing something that is really damaging all of us.”
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/us/politics/house-republicans-to-offer-broad-immigration-plan.html?_r=0

WASHINGTON POST: For House Republicans, new momentum on immigration reform
By David Nakamura
January 24, 2014
Recent signals from House Republican leaders that they will pursue their own vision of immigration reform have presented the White House with an opening to achieve a major legislative deal this year that has eluded lawmakers for decades.
Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to release a brief outline of immigration principles to his caucus as soon as its annual retreat next week. The goals would include strengthening border security and creating new visas for foreign workers, while providing a path toward legalizing the status of the nation’s 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants, according to people briefed on the deliberations.
Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats expressed optimism that new momentum in the House could yield results after months in which the issue languished in the lower chamber. But they cautioned that it is far too early to determine whether a compromise could be reached between the House and Senate, which approved a bipartisan plan to overhaul border-control laws last June.
“It’s a very big deal, and there’s a path here that could get it done,” Cecilia Munoz, the White House’s director of domestic policy, said of the potential for an immigration agreement.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-house-republicans-new-momentum-on-immigration-reform/2014/01/24/1c48e25e-8509-11e3-bbe5-6a2a3141e3a9_story.html

The Week Ahead: January 22-24

January 22, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“We all know immigration is vitally important to our economy. Our goal will be to develop an immigration policy that’s in the best interest of America, our economy, and allows the United States to get the best and brightest people to come here.”

— Steve Moore in a Jan. 21 interview on his return to the Heritage Foundation as chief economist

“If we can have a way to get that [enforcement measures] up and operating, I see no reason why we can’t also have an agreement that shows how people who are not lawfully here can be able to be lawfully here — able to live here, work here, travel to and from their home country. Be able to own a business, pay their taxes. And that is how we’re trying to outline a way to resolve this as one of several of the steps in this step by step approach.”

— Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) in a Jan. 12 Telemundo interview

“Done right, immigration reform can increase our economic growth rate, reduce our deficit and contribute significantly to America’s future ... Economic growth isn’t a blue state/red state issue — it’s an American issue. It’s within our power to create the investment, the jobs and the opportunities our country needs. If we seize the moment, and enact policies to put our economy on track for faster growth, I believe we will once again show the world that America’s best days lie ahead.”

— Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. and the new chairman of the Business Roundtable, in a Jan. 14 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

SUMMARY

Immigration Continues to be a Defining Issue for 2014
House Speaker John Boehner’s (OH-08) assertion that he intends to release conservative principles on immigration reform highlights reform’s continued high standing on the 2014 congressional agenda. The principles are likely to be announced around next week’s House Republican retreat, days after the president’s State of the Union address — likely also to highlight the importance of reform.

Republican leaders continue to signal that they intend to take up commonsense immigration reform this year. Last week, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), stated that he couldn’t see why undocumented immigrants couldn’t be granted a way to be able to be in the United State lawfully, as part of an agreement that also would include strict enforcement measures.

And today, Steve Moore said in an interview that he will return to the Heritage Foundation as its chief economist hoping “to develop an immigration policy that’s in the best interest of America, our economy, and allows the United States to get the best and brightest people to come here,” a more moderate tone than past Heritage responses to immigration reform this Congress.

With Republican leadership on and off the Hill signaling a path forward for immigration, 2014 still stands to be the year during which commonsense reform will cross the finish line.

Nationwide, Leaders in Faith, Law Enforcement and Business Continue Call for Reform
Outside of the Beltway, more and more leaders in the faith, law enforcement and business communities continue to speak in favor of immigration reform. Last week Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, penned an op-ed calling for immigration reform in the interest of our nation’s economic growth.

Meanwhile, today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Evangelical Immigration Table, World Relief and Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform are coming together to host a discussion on “Welcoming the Stranger: Perspectives on Immigration and Immigration Reform” in Carol Stream, Illinois.

From corner offices to church pulpits, leaders nationwide are calling for congressional action on immigration 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: WALL STREET JOURNAL: GOP Leaders Set to Embrace Legal Status for Immigrants
By Laura Meckler
January 16, 2014
WASHINGTON--House Republican leaders are preparing to release a set of principles to guide a House immigration overhaul, including legal status for many of the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, people familiar with the planning said.
This would represent the first time that the House GOP leadership has explicitly endorsed allowing illegal immigrants to remain and work in the U.S. While the document will stop short of the path to citizenship approved by the Senate, it represents a step toward what immigration advocates and Democrats have long sought.
The principles could be released as early as next week, ahead of the State of the Union speech on Jan. 28, where President Barack Obama is expected to again call on Congress to send him immigration legislation. They will be circulated among House Republicans for possible action this year, though timing for legislation is unclear.
The one-page document is being developed by House Speaker John Boehner’s office in conjunction with the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and others in the Republican House leadership. It contains few details but voices support for the major planks of the comprehensive bill that cleared the Senate last summer. That includes increased border security, stepped-up employment verification, a temporary worker program for low-skilled workers, more visas for high-technology workers and a path to citizenship for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, according to two people who have seen a draft.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304419104579324532878523334?mod=wsj_nview_latest

The Week Ahead: January 13-17

January 13, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“We’re determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted. The Chamber will pull out all the stops — through grassroots lobbying, communications, politics and partnerships with unions, faith organizations, law enforcement and others — to get it done.”

— Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a Jan. 8 press conference

“Quite simply, broad immigration reform would make our communities safer and law-enforcement operations clearer. Most of our ancestors arrived here from a distant land, in search of a better life. They found this unique land of freedom and opportunity, and we continue to reap the benefits. I believe that America is exceptional and has a continued destiny for greatness. But we will not be great if we do not act in a fair and compassionate way to the men, women and children who live and work among us, and dream our same dreams.”

— Grant Woods, Republican former attorney general of Arizona, in a Jan. 12 Arizona Republic op-ed

SUMMARY

Republican Leadership Continues to Show Commitment to Immigration in 2014
In another example of Republican House leadership’s intentions to take up immigration in 2014, last week Speaker John Boehner (OH-08) said that in the coming weeks he plans to release a document of conservative principles on immigration reform. Speaker Boehner’s latest statements show he is taking ownership of immigration reform this Congress and adds to other promising signs in the past few weeks from Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-07).

Although these signs are still preliminary, they signal a hopeful start to 2014 and an important stepping-stone on the way to immigration reform in the House of Representatives this Congress.

Naturalization and Integration Programs Help Immigrants Nationwide
While immigration reform remains a top legislative concern in Washington, organizations across the country are working with legal permanent residents to help them apply for their U.S. citizenship. Integration networks such as the New Americans Campaign are hosting information sessions nationwide in Orange County and elsewhere to help immigrants realize their full potential as part of our nation.

Later this week, Bay Area ethnic media, immigrant advocacy organizations and young recently naturalized citizens are coming together at a roundtable in San Jose to discuss the role of ethnic media in the 2014 citizenship campaign.

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: LOS ANGELES TIMES: Boehner drafting GOP principles on immigration overhaul
By Brian Bennett and Lisa Mascaro
January 8, 2014
WASHINGTON — Seeking to make an overhaul of immigration laws a priority, House Speaker John A. Boehner vowed Wednesday that he would soon release a document of conservative "principles" on the issue intended to prod Republicans to pass a series of bills this year.
The high-profile promise from the Ohio Republican, who is drafting a one-page list with his leadership team, comes as he is eager to press ahead on a topic that is important to his party's political future. But the speaker faces continued resistance from powerful conservative groups and an intractable flank of House Republicans who oppose citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.
"We are working on a standards or principles document," Boehner told House Republicans in their first closed-door meeting in the new year, according to a Republican in the room who, like others discussing the internal deliberations, asked not to be identified.
Even though the document is expected to be vague, immigration advocates viewed it as a clear sign Boehner and his leadership team will try to persuade their reluctant majority to act on the issue. The Senate-passed immigration overhaul has languished in the House.
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-gop-immigration-20140109,0,5532597.story#axzz2qDwvNcRZ

ARIZONA REPUBLIC (Woods Op-Ed): Broad immigration reform long overdue for U.S.
By Grant Woods
Jan 12, 2014
As a state and as a nation, as Republicans and as Democrats, we are ready for immigration reform.
Today, at the beginning of a new year, we are closer to real immigration reform than we have been in a generation. As a former Arizona attorney general, I continue to urge Congress to move forward on reform.
Law enforcement is always about prioritizing, and, for obvious reasons, protecting victims and aggressively pursuing those who commit violent crimes must be our top priority.
But our broken immigration system undermines our ability to do both of those things.
Every day, state and local law-enforcement agents face the difficult task of trying to solve crimes when people living in the shadows are fearful that if they report a crime, they may be deported.
Those duly charged with protecting our communities are often thwarted in their investigations when people see them as immigration officers and are afraid to raise their hand.
It breaks my heart to think that crimes go unreported in our communities because of this fear. Violent criminals are emboldened by our antiquated immigration system.
Let me be clear: Being here without proper documentation is a violation of the civil code. And reform must strengthen border security and promote legal immigration.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20140112broad-immigration-reform-overdue.html
Grant Woods, a Republican, served as attorney general of Arizona from 1991 to 1999.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Free help for would-be citizens at local libraries
By Roxana Kopetman
January 10, 2014
The U.S. government wants to help legal residents attain citizenship.
Free information sessions on naturalization will be held in Orange County libraries this month, beginning with an event at the Westminster Library on Saturday.
The upcoming sessions at libraries in Westminster, Garden Grove and Irvine will provide information about eligibility and residency requirements, application forms, fees and other information. Most will be bilingual, with presentations in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Farsi.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is not the only agency looking to create new citizens.
Nationwide, a network of organizations is working to encourage the country’s legal permanent residents—an estimated 8.8 million green-card holders—to become citizens.
While much of the discussion in the nation’s capital focuses on an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, there are an estimated 8.8 million legal permanent residents eligible to become citizens. In Orange County, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, it takes approximately five months to become a citizen, from the day of application to taking the oath of allegiance.
“Our goal is to get as many legal permanent residents to become citizens. We’re a nation of immigrants,” said Mario Moreno, a spokesman for the New Americans Campaign, a leading voice in the national effort.
Read more: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/citizenship-596885-naturalization-citizens.html

The Week Ahead: January 6-10

January 06, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“As a Christian, I’m saying, we have to do what the Bible tells us to do — whether or not it advances our politics … The more immigrants you meet, the more you realize: Immigration is a political issue, but immigrants are people. Let’s begin by treating them as people.”

— Rev. Jim Goodroe of Spartanburg, S.C., in a December 24 Los Angeles Times feature piece

“I’m going to be pushing hard to try to get [immigration reform] done early next year. The earlier the better, I think.”

— Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), January 3


SUMMARY

Immigration Poised to be Key Issue of 2014
As Congress returns to Washington for the first time in 2014, it faces several legislative priorities — and immigration reform is coming down the pike. In the January Legislative Agenda Majority Leader Eric Cantor circulated Friday, he focused on immediate priorities such as appropriations but noted that “several outstanding issues may be brought to the floor over the next few months, including … legislation related to trade and immigration.” Cantor’s signals for positive movement on immigration reform this year complement Speaker John Boehner’s recent encouraging steps.

In addition, in December the Senate confirmed nominees for the Department of Homeland Security’s top leadership roles: Secretary Jeh Johnson and Deputy Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Johnson and Mayorkas are set to hit the ground running in enforcing immigration law while also working toward a more efficient and productive immigration system.

Across the board in D.C. and all over the country, signs point to a green light on commonsense immigration reform in 2014.

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: Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration
By Michael D. Shear and Ashley Parker
January 1, 2014
WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has signaled he may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation’s immigration laws in the coming months, giving advocates for change new hope that 2014 might be the year that a bitterly divided Congress reaches a political compromise to overhaul the sprawling system.
Mr. Boehner has in recent weeks hired Rebecca Tallent, a longtime immigration adviser to Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who has long backed broad immigration changes. Advocates for an overhaul say the hiring, as well as angry comments by Mr. Boehner critical of Tea Party opposition to the recent budget deal in Congress, indicates that he is serious about revamping the immigration system despite deep reservations from conservative Republicans.
Aides to Mr. Boehner said this week that he was committed to what he calls “step by step” moves to revise immigration laws, which they have declined to specify.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/us/politics/boehner-is-said-to-back-change-on-immigration.html

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Reverend cites Bible in immigration reform effort
By Lisa Mascaro
December 24, 2013
The Rev. Jim Goodroe was driving down Interstate 85 toward Atlanta one morning when, as sometimes happened in the quiet of a long trip, he sensed God’s presence.
Goodroe had been pondering a problem. He was trying to help a colleague find a South Carolina pastor to record a radio ad to promote biblical arguments for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.
The commercial would run statewide as part of a national campaign by the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of religious leaders, to persuade conservative Christians, particularly Republicans, to back a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.
Goodroe, the missions director for a network of Southern Baptist churches, had pastors in mind. But in this buckle of the Bible Belt, where religion and politics intertwine, it was a very big request. One pastor had already declined.
A moment of clarity stirred inside him.
“The Lord seemed to say: ‘Why don’t you do that spot? You’re the most immigrant-friendly evangelical in South Carolina,’“ Goodroe recalled.
He pulled his 2002 Honda Civic into a rest stop and texted his colleague.
“If you want me to do the spot, I’ll do it.”
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-c1-immigration-reverend-20131224-dto,0,1070513.htmlstory#axzz2pG4O2gaN

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