National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead April 21-25

April 22, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“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


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,, 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.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:

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:

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:
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.

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