National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Updates Archives

The Week Ahead April 28-May 2

April 29, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"There's certainly been a broad coalition between the agriculture community, the faith-based community and the technology and other employers who need skilled workers … I'm hopeful that, over the next few months, you're going to start seeing more of these bills move through the process."

— Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), April 23

“Now, more than ever, Americans are seeing firsthand how our broken immigration system is really holding our nation back. Through commonsense policies, we have the opportunity to grow our economy, and provide security and well-paying jobs for families all across Illinois and America.”

— Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), April 22

SUMMARY

As House Republicans Look to Summer, Constituents Look for Action
As Republican House leaders continue to point to this summer for opportunities to move ahead on immigration legislation, more and more members of the Republican conference continue to show that they are ready to proceed with commonsense reform.

And constituents are making sure their members know that they want a #VoteOnReform. Building off the successes of April recess events, leaders from across the faith, law enforcement, business and veteran communities will continue to urge their legislators to vote on immigration reform this year.

Today, more than 250 evangelical pastors are coming to Washington, D.C., for a press conference and worship service before they meet with their members of Congress to discuss the urgent need for reform rooted in biblical values. The national #Pray4Reform event follows 17 local press events with pastors in 13 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri and South Carolina, with two in Ohio and two in Texas.

And on Wednesday, Arizona veterans will gather to add their voices to the call for commonsense reform that offers our immigrant veterans the same dignity and protection that they have fought to give our country.

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: CHRISTIAN POST: Immigration Reform Not Dead, Boehner Says; Over 200 Evangelical Pastors to Push House Republicans
By Napp Nazworth
April 25, 2014
According to Thursday remarks by Speaker of the House John Boehner and an Evangelical Immigration Table spokesperson interviewed Friday by The Christian Post, immigration reform legislation could still pass Congress this year.
Galen Carey, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, told CP that he was recently in touch with staffers from Boehner's office who said there will be opportunities to take up immigration reform in June and July.
Carey will participate in an EIT event on Tuesday. Over 200 evangelical pastors from 25 states will meet in Washington, D.C., to encourage the House to finish immigration reform this year.
On Thursday, Boehner jokingly teased some of his fellow Republican House members who are reluctant to pass immigration reform at a Middletown Rotary Club meeting in his home district.
"Here's the attitude: 'Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,'" Boehner mocked, according to Cincinnati.com. (You can watch a video of the remarks here.)
Read more: http://www.christianpost.com/news/immigration-reform-not-dead-boehner-says-over-200-evangelical-pastors-to-push-house-republicans-118627/

WASHINGTON POST (Editorial): Mr. Boehner comes clean on immigration reform
April 26, 2014
IN WASHINGTON, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) peddles one line on immigration reform that is transparently false. In his district in Ohio, he becomes a truth-teller.
For months, Mr. Boehner has tried to justify the intransigence of his fellow House Republicans, who have refused to consider a Senate measure to overhaul the broken immigration system. His stated reason was that they could not trust President Obama to enforce any law passed by Congress.
“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,” Mr. Boehner said in February. “And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”
But on Thursday, at a meeting at a rotary club lunch in southwestern Ohio, an area Mr. Boehner has represented for more than two decades, he gave it to ’em straight. Asked about immigration reform, the speaker squarely blamed his GOP caucus, with more than a hint of derision. “Here’s the attitude,” he said, scrunching up his face and delivering the real Republican excuse in a toddler’s whine: “ ‘Ohhhh, don’t make me do this! Ohhhh, this is too hard!’ ”
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mr-boehner-comes-clean-on-immigration-reform/2014/04/26/6ba72bf6-ccbe-11e3-95f7-7ecdde72d2ea_story.html

The Week Ahead April 21-25

April 22, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“The very simple question we need to ask in Congress is: why are we making something so simple so political? ... We have 11 million people — some people would call them undocumented, other people will call them illegals — but people. They're here, performing duties, working somewhere, in the farms, in the fishing industry, maybe in restaurants, and somehow we don't give them the opportunity to belong is kind of not fair.”

— Chef Jose Andres, April 18

SUMMARY

Recess Events Intensify: Constituents Urge a Vote on Reform
As House Republican leaders continue to point to summer opportunities to pass immigration reform, their constituents are using this spring to ramp up pressure on their members of Congress.

While legislators are home this week for the April recess, faith, law enforcement and business leaders are calling for a vote on immigration reform this year. Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform (BBB), the Evangelical Immigration Table, the Partnership for a New American Economy, FWD.us, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other partners are holding more than 60 recess events in more than 40 congressional districts. Many joint efforts are scheduled under the banner of Americans for Reform, which brought hundreds of conservative leaders to Capitol Hill last fall.

Notable events this week include large BBB events in Illinois, Wisconsin and North Carolina, and Evangelical Immigration Table press events in Texas, Florida, California, South Carolina, Colorado and Georgia.

And the push will not end when members return to the Hill. Hundreds of evangelical pastors will travel to Washington on April 29 for a press conference and worship service before they meet with their members of Congress to discuss the urgent moral and Biblical imperatives for reform. Meanwhile, on April 30, veterans in Arizona will gather to add their voices for commonsense immigration reform.

Across the country, conservative constituents are sending a clear message to their members of Congress; we need a #VoteOnReform.

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: House Immigration Bills Are Still in the Mix Boehner Tells Attendees at Fundraiser He's 'Hellbent on Getting This Done'
By Laura Meckler
April 17, 2014
WASHINGTON—Speaker John Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year, despite the reluctance of many Republicans to tackle the divisive issue before the November elections.
Many lawmakers and activists have assumed the issue was off the table in an election year. But Mr. Boehner said at a Las Vegas fundraiser last month he was "hellbent on getting this done this year," according to two people in the room.
A spokesman for Mr. Boehner didn't dispute the account but said no action is possible until President Barack Obama proves himself a trustworthy partner to Republicans.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, delivered an upbeat message about legislative prospects during a recent trip to Silicon Valley, said Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who hosted his visit.
He said Mr. Goodlatte told him action in 2014 was "entirely possible," likely in the form of votes this summer on five to seven immigration bills. A spokeswoman for Mr. Goodlatte declined to comment on the exchange.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R., Fla.) also is drafting legislation that would give qualifying undocumented immigrants legal status and the chance to apply for citizenship through existing channels. The bill includes border-security measures and an effort to clear the backlog of applications for permanent legal status, known as green cards.
House leaders have told Mr. Diaz-Balart to have the legislation ready to go for possible debate in June or July, an aide said.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626304579508091839546088

LOS ANGELES BUSINESS JOURNAL (de la Rocha and Plutzik Op-Ed): Program Homes In to Help Immigrant Workforce
By Cástulo de la Rocha and Jonathan Plutzik
April 14, 2014
While the nation debates the path forward for immigration reform, a network of more than 60 businesses from coast to coast is hard at work writing the next chapter in the story of America as a nation of immigrants.
From Los Angeles to Miami, we have found that businesses have the space, opportunity and motivation to make a real and tangible difference for their foreign-born workforce.
Our two businesses – AltaMed Health Services in the L.A. area and the Betsy-South Beach in Miami – have joined forces with the Bethlehem Project, an innovative partnership that provides citizenship assistance to green card holders at the worksite. It has been valuable both for us as employers and for our employees, and we encourage other business leaders to participate.
The project is named after Bethlehem Steel, which in 1915 became one of the first American companies to offer English classes to its immigrant employees. Since the Bethlehem Project’s launch in January 2013, it has grown quickly, with sites in Miami; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; San Jose; and San Diego – and new cities on the horizon.
Read more: http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2014/apr/14/program-homes-help-immigrant-workforce/?page=1&
Cástulo de la Rocha is chief executive and president of AltaMed Health Services Corp., based in Los Angeles. Jonathan Plutzik is principal owner and chairman at the Betsy-South Beach in Miami.

The Week Ahead April 14-18

April 14, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I have determined, adding more compassion isn’t going to solve [immigration], doing more justice isn’t going to solve it, only the government can solve this at this point. So for the first time in my ministry, I’ve been writing op-ed pieces in major newspapers, I’ve gone to Washington to visit the offices of Republicans and Democrats. I’ve stood on the Capitol lawn with dozens of others leaders, doing press conferences, asking for our elected officials to come up with comprehensive immigration reform—because it’s their job, it’s why we elected them, it’s their problem to resolve.”

— Senior Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., during his sermon on Sunday, April 13th

SUMMARY

While Legislators Return Home for Recess, Constituents Ramp Up Pressure for a Vote
As members of Congress head home for April recess over the next two weeks, leaders from the faith, law enforcement and business worlds are adding to the call for a vote on immigration reform this year.

Each week, more and more conservative leaders continue to speak out in support of reform that betters our country’s economy, security and moral integrity. While meanwhile, studies continue to show that commonsense reform that includes a pathway to citizenship remains the least divisive issue before Congress today.

Over the next two weeks, Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform, the Evangelical Immigration Table, the Partnership for a New American Economy, FWD.us, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce along with other partners, are planning more than 60 recess events in over 40 congressional districts. From public roundtables to private meetings, local conservative faith, law enforcement and business leaders will be calling on their legislators for a #VoteOnReform.


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: FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: Like Bush, Many Republicans Are Moderate on Immigration
By Nate Silver
April 12, 2014
The Republican Party has grown more conservative over the past couple of decades. But news commentators sometimes wrongly imply that GOP voters take an extremist position on every issue.
As I described on Friday, for example, Jeb Bush’s support of Common Core educational standards isn’t likely to hurt him if he runs for president in 2016; the issue is neither all that relevant to most Republicans nor all that divisive. If candidates running to Bush’s right are looking for a wedge issue, they’ll probably have some better choices.
What about immigration policy, for instance? Bush has staked out a moderate position on immigration, both rhetorically and substantively; last Sunday, he described immigrants who come to the United States illegally looking for work as having committed an “act of love.”
Immigration is a higher visibility issue than education policy. Even so, many Republican voters are sympathetic toward immigrants and immigration reform. Last year, FiveThirtyEight’s Micah Cohen compiled polls on Republican attitudes toward a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants and found that support varied depending on the requirements. An average of 37 percent of Republicans supported a pathway to citizenship without requirements, while 72 percent supported one if additional conditions, like the payment of back taxes and a criminal background check, were met.
Read more: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/like-bush-many-republicans-are-moderate-on-immigration/


POLITICO: Haley Barbour: Jeb Bush stance like Reagan’s
By Lucy McCalmont
April 8, 2014
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour defended Jeb Bush’s recent comments that some illegal immigration is an “act of love,” saying it’s very similar to what former President Ronald Reagan thought.
“What people want you to do: Tell the truth,” Barbour said Tuesday at the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit. “And if Jeb feels that way about it — it sort of reminds me of my boss, Ronald Reagan.”
Barbour, who was an aide in Reagan’s administration described what the president used to call the “gates test” during a panel Tuesday with Democratic San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
“Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘When the ‘Blame America first’ crowd gets out of hand, then you need to apply the gates test,’” Barbour said.
The former governor recalled asking what Reagan meant by the gates test and said his reply was: “’The gates test: Drop all the gates everywhere in the world and see which way people run. They run to America.’”
“And that’s what Jeb is saying to me, that this is the place, for good reason,” Barbour said. “And we ought to be proud of it, that when you apply the gates test, that people want to come here.”
“That message has the benefit of being true,” Barbour added. “Whether everybody will take that same tact, that’s neither here nor there. But it’s very similar to what Ronald Reagan thought.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/haley-barbour-jeb-bush-ronald-reagan-immigration-105494.html

The Week Ahead April 7-11

April 07, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Our country has been the beneficiary of so many immigrant groups that had the courage and the fortitude to come to America. They came fleeing horrific conditions and harboring a dream of a better life for the children. They were some of the most industrious, ambitious and enterprising citizens of their own countries and brought enormous energy and good will to their new homeland. Their hard work and sacrifices have made this country great.”

— Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O'Malley in his homily at the April 1 Catholic Mass on the Arizona-Mexico border

SUMMARY

America Trapped Between Overzealous Enforcement System, Obstinate Congress
This week, conservative leaders are speaking out about how our broken immigration system leaves American communities trapped between a rock and a hard place. It separates families, undermines our economy and destabilizes communities across America.

Among the conservative voices highlighting these concerns is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who spoke Sunday about people who come to the United States to provide for their families. Meanwhile, new data on deportations and detention translate to pain and fear for immigrant families and an unnecessary financial burden on our country.

And while the business community craves visas that spur growth by bringing skilled workers to our country or keeping them here, the annual cap on such visas has been reached after less than a week, USCIS announced today. Companies that applied for the visas could win the lottery for the year that begins Oct. 1 — and if not, they’ll have to try again next year.

As analyses of Republican primary breakdowns show that support for immigration reform is not a losing issue, farmers, tech leaders and local political leaders from across the country continue to recognize the importance of immigrants to our cities and communities. And following last week’s border Mass in Arizona, faith leaders continue to speak out on the immense human cost while immigration reform waits.

All of these constituencies will hold events across the country during the two-week April congressional recess that begins next week. They will reinforce the call for a long-term solution to our broken system, a call that only Congress can answer by voting on commonsense 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: WASHINGTON POST: Jeb Bush: Many illegal immigrants come out of an ‘act of love’
By Ed O'Keefe
April 6, 2014
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said Sunday that many who illegally come to the United States do so out of an "act of love" for their families and should be treated differently than people who illegally cross U.S. borders or overstay visas.
The comments came during an event marking the 25th anniversary of the presidency of George H. W. Bush at the library and museum that bears the name of the Bush patriarch. The event was closed to reporters, but moderated by Fox News anchor Shannone Bream and portions of the event were later broadcast on the Fox News Channel.
Asked about immigration, Bush started by saying that a bipartisan bill passed by the Senate last year made "a good effort" at proposing ways to ensure that people overstaying visas leave the country.
"A great country ought to know where those folks are and politely ask them to leave," he said, adding later that properly targeting people who overstay visas "would restore people's confidence" in the nation's immigration system.
"There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law," he added. "But the way I look at this -- and I'm going to say this, and it'll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families -- the dad who loved their children -- was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. [...]
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush-many-illegal-immigrants-come-out-of-an-act-of-love/


CINCINNATI ENQUIRER (Natorp Op-ed): We need immigrant workers
By Ken Natorp
April 3, 2014
In 1916, my grandfather, William A. Natorp, a German immigrant and horticulture student, placed an advertisement in a Cincinnati flower shop window for landscape services. In a short time, he realized he could not get the quality of plants he needed for his landscape clients, and made the decision to grow his own, creating Natorp's Nursery.
He began transforming the gardens and landscapes of Greater Cincinnati and created devoted customers based on his meticulous manner of transforming their yards and gardens.
So began a true immigrant success story and what many in the area now know as the most recognizable name in Cincinnati-area gardening. Today, Natorp's is the largest grower in the region. We raise over 1 million plants annually including annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs in our Mason nursery. We're proud that we maintain a rigorous selection of plants. We have taken the experience of growing for nearly 100 years and combined it with innovation to advance the company into the future.
As the home to more than 75,000 farms, Ohio boasts agriculture as a top industry. One in seven Ohioans is employed in an agriculture-related job. Thanks to rich soil and favorable weather conditions for crops and plants, growers like us are able to contribute over $100 billion to our state economy every year.
Read more: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/04/03/natorp-need-immigrant-workers/7273751/
Ken Natorp is chairman of W.A. Natorp Corp.

PRODUCE NEWS: Produce industry re-thinks GOP contributions over immigration reform
By Joan Murphy
April 01, 2014
WASHINGTON — Produce companies are getting so frustrated over congressional inaction on immigration reform that they may be rethinking plans to contribute to Republican campaigns.
Agriculture groups are beginning to loudly criticize House Republicans for not moving on immigration reform at a time when the opportunity for legislation appears to be slipping away.
Earlier this year, groups said they were hoping by this summer to get a bill on the House floor after last year's elections spurred hope the House would take up the issue. The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill in a bipartisan vote last year, but any momentum in the House appears to have stalled.
Western Growers Association said its members may withhold contributions in congressional races if candidates are against comprehensive immigration overhaul, according to a New York Times story published March 30.
Tom Nassif, president of WGA, told the Times reporter, "I can tell you, if the Republicans don't put something forward on immigration, there is going to be a very loud hue and cry from us in agriculture. We are a tremendously important part of the party, and they should not want to lose us."
Western Growers is not the only group taking a hard look at immigration reform as a litmus test.
"We've heard over and over from House Republicans what they're not going to do. We want to hear what they are going to do," Lisa Lochridge, public affairs director for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, told The Produce News.
Read more: http://www.theproducenews.com/news-dep-menu/test-featured/12633-produce-industry-re-thinks-gop-contributions-over-immigration-reform

The Sights and Sounds from the Mass on the Border

April 03, 2014 - Posted by Mario Moreno

In remembrance of the 6,000+ migrants who’ve died in search for a better life, a group of bishops and Cardinal Sean O’Malley held a somber Mass in the shadow of the border fence near Nogales, Arizona.



In an effort to continue calling attention to the tragedy of migrant deaths in the United States, the bishops retraced the steps immigrants take as they begin their journey through the desert and prayed for a solution to the problem via immigration reform.





Afterwards, the seven bishops joined with a fellow Guatemalan bishop, local priests, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley for a procession through the streets of Nogales.





With the border fence rising behind them, the bishops and Cardinal Sean O’Malley led their congregation on both sides of the border in song, prayer, and communion.







The bishops and Cardinal Sean O’Malley called on their congregations to continue praying and pushing for immigration reform as a moral necessity for our nation – join the movement today at #pray4reform.


The Week Ahead March 31-April 4

April 01, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“We’ve had secure borders with Mexico for the last decade; we don’t have that argument at this point. Now we want people to see the real damage of not doing anything, which is a declining work force, and it means losing production to foreign countries … I can tell you if the Republicans don’t put something forward on immigration, there is going to be a very loud hue and cry from us in agriculture. We are a tremendously important part of the party, and they should not want to lose us.”

— Tom Nassif, President, Western Growers Association, March 30

“Other than physically tackling a member of Congress, which is probably against the law, I’m not sure how much more aggressive we can be. What we cannot do is go on to the House floor and vote for them.”

— Carl Guardino, Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, March 28

SUMMARY

Conservative Leaders Issue Powerful Calls for a Vote on Immigration Reform
The need for immigration reform is winning hearts and minds thanks to strong support from faith, law enforcement and business leaders. Across the country, these leaders are speaking louder than before about how they personally experience the impact of a broken immigration system and the need for a vote on immigration reform.

That call will come Tuesday from the Arizona-Mexico border, where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is hosting a border Mass and press conference Tuesday morning — an event that will be streamed live online and covered on social media.

And on Thursday, local evangelical pastors will join a press call to discuss how our broken immigration system has affected their communities. That same day, evangelical Christians will hold a 24-hour virtual Day of Prayer for Immigrant Families. Evangelical pastors also are looking ahead to an April 29 fly-in to Washington, D.C.

At the same time, business leaders across the labor spectrum are stressing that a vote from Congress is a vote on economic stability — stability that the status quo puts at risk. In California, farmers are “increasingly fed up” with outdated immigration laws — and a growers association says members may hold off on contributions to Republicans.

Not far away, tech leaders in Silicon Valley are stepping up their support for a better immigration process. The urgency will be amplified this week by the rush for “high-skill” visas, which are capped at 65,000. The visas become available Tuesday and likely will run out a mere six days later.

The call is coming from the tech sector in Silicon Valley and the fields of the Central Valley, from Wisconsin farms, Illinois sheriff’s offices and the offices of national evangelical leaders: We need immigration reform that honors our values and provides our communities and our country with stability.

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 (Reed and Moore Op-Ed): Immigration Reform Is a Moral Imperative
By Ralph Reed and Russell Moore
March 30, 2014
Republicans in the House of Representatives—sensing the political winds at their backs heading into the midterm election and distrustful of President Obama’s willingness to enforce the law—have opted to do nothing about immigration. Their strategy is shortsighted.
Reform will require moral courage and leadership, but it is necessary. Because of the federal government’s failure to secure the border, antiquated policies and a patchwork of conflicting regulations, there are now millions of people who have overstayed visas or crossed our borders illegally. The current system is inadequate for the country’s needs, and it is inequitable as well.
Reforms passed in the 1960s focused on entry to the U.S. based on blood relation. Currently, the majority who come to America legally do so on this basis. The law allows little priority based on education or job skills. As a result, Canada, with one-tenth our population, issues about 120,000 permanent and temporary skilled-worker visas annually, nearly twice the number of H1-B visas issued by the U.S. every year.
The immigrant community is brimming with hard-working, entrepreneurial, family-oriented men and women who yearn for freedom and aspire to be Americans in the fullest sense. Others violate our laws, committing crime and living off the system. As Christians and conservatives, we have had to ask ourselves how to move forward.
Read more:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304185104579437203436109732?mg=reno64-wsj


NEW YORK TIMES: California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience
By Jennifer Medina
March 29, 2014
HURON, Calif. — When Chuck Herrin, who runs a large farm labor contracting company, looks out at the hundreds of workers he hires each year to tend to the countless rows of asparagus, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and plums, he often seethes in frustration.
It is not that he has any trouble with the laborers. It is that he, like many others in agriculture here, is increasingly fed up with immigration laws that he says prevent him from fielding a steady, reliable work force.
“What we have going on now is a farce — a waste of time and money,” said Mr. Herrin, a lifelong Republican who grew up in central California, adding that the country should be considering ways to bring workers in, not keep them out. “We need these people to get our food to market.”
California is home to an estimated 2.5 million illegal immigrants, more than in any other state. Perhaps nowhere else captures the contradictions and complications of immigration policy better than California’s Central Valley, where nearly all farmworkers are immigrants, roughly half of them living here illegally, according to estimates from agricultural economists at the University of California, Davis.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/us/california-farmers-short-of-labor-and-patience.html

CATHOLICS IN ALLIANCE FOR THE COMMON GOOD BLOG (Curran Post): To Build the Trust Law Enforcement Counts On, We Need Immigration Reform
By Mark C. Curran, Jr.
March 26, 2014
Here at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, we have focused on immigration reform as an issue of social justice, which it most certainly is. But, Mark C. Curran, Jr., is the Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois, and in this week’s Common Good Forum, he reminds us that law enforcement groups favor immigration reform on practical grounds too: They need the trust of the community in order to do their work.
Much has been made about the lack of trust that exists between House Republicans and the President. In fact, this broken relationship has been cited as the main reason for a delay in moving forward with broad immigration reform legislation.
But a different kind of trust is exactly why we need reform, and we need Congress to move quickly.
I have dedicated decades of my life to enforcing our laws. As a prosecutor, an instructor of criminal justice, and now as the Sheriff of Lake County, I have come to understand the importance of good law enforcement implementation through many angles. I know very well that trust in the community is a critical component for enforcement. In addition, my religious beliefs have encouraged me to embrace faith, not fear, on issues that involve our fellow human beings.
Read more: http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/to_build_the_trust_law_enforcement_counts_on_we_need_immigration_reform

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