National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: August 19-23

August 19, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

"If you came here through no fault of your own and you have been a productive and positive addition to our country, then, yeah, we need to do something so that you don’t have to worry that you’re going to be deported from your home.”

— GOP Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02), August 14


Evangelical Immigration Table to Launch Largest Radio Ad Buy Yet
The Evangelical Immigration Table will launch its largest radio ad buy to date on Tuesday, as part of the Table’s “Pray for Reform” campaign. The new $400,000 buy will include multi-week ads at high saturation levels in 56 congressional districts across 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

The radio ads, to run while members of Congress are back in their districts for recess, feature local and national evangelical voices calling for prayer and action on broad immigration reform. Evangelical support for reform is deepening: More than 60,000 people have signed up as prayer partners during the “Pray for Reform” campaign. The ads encourage legislators to take action on immigration reform after they return to Washington in September, and the press call will highlight this evangelical support at home.

Bibles, Badges and Business Leaders Continue August Events
Today Republican Congressman John Carter (TX-31) held a meeting and press conference with faith and business leaders in Belton, Texas. The event was just one example of the dozens of events the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network is holding across the country while members of Congress are home. Building on a series of successful events across the country already this month, additional events this week will take place in Columbus, Ind.; Duncan, S.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Geneva, Ill.; Omaha, Neb.; South Bend, Ind.; Dunn, N.C.; and Durham, N.C.

Updated Study Highlights High Costs of Immigration Detention
Today the National Immigration Forum posted an updated “Math of Immigration Detention” paper, which highlights the high costs of detaining immigrants under our current immigration system and explores more responsible alternatives to detention. The results show that if only individuals convicted of serious crimes were detained and less expensive alternative methods were used to monitor the rest of the population currently in detention, taxpayers could save more than $1.44 billion per year—almost an 80 percent reduction in annual costs.

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: THE HILL (Williams Column): Republican leaders pushing door open for immigration deal
By Juan Williams
August 19, 2013
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, recently told a Wisconsin town-hall meeting that the House has plans to vote on immigration reform in October.
If Ryan is willing to publicly talk in such terms, then he is opening the door to Republicans allowing their leadership to pass the bill with votes from Democrats.
Recent remarks by other GOP leadership figures give reason for increased optimism on immigration reform as well.
On “Fox News Sunday,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised a vote on separate bills containing components of immigration reform as it passed the Senate.
Cantor committed neither to a vote on a comprehensive package nor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Still, the promises of floor votes from Ryan and Cantor amounts to a breakthrough at a moment when House Republicans fear primary challenges from hardliners who might accuse them of going soft and giving “amnesty” to illegal immigrants.
Most House Republicans are still risk-averse on immigration reform, content to do nothing and let it die without any vote and without any conference with the Senate that could require further compromise.
But the new posture on immigration reform by high profile Republicans could end the paralysis.
Read more:

WASHINGTON POST (Rubin Post): Media hypes Rep. Steve King while immigration reform advances
By Jennifer Rubin
August 13, 2013
Politico tells us that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), infamous for his bigoted comments on illegal aliens, is “hitting the trail” with his anti-immigrant screed. (“If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right? It’s like pouring hot water into cold water, does it raise the temperature or not?”)
But the thing is that no one — outside the Beltway — takes him all that seriously. The photo accompanying Politico’s report of an anti-immigration in Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Richmond, Va., district shows exactly 14 people. (Politico claims a grand total of 60 attended the rally.) Polling shows King’s own constituents favor immigration reform. Yet Politico, as is its sensationalistic habit, chooses to take King seriously and accord him relevance in the current debate.
Is King a “problem” for the pro-immigration reformers? In an odd way, he’s actually a great asset. He’s an obvious crank. That and the naked display of venom of the anti-immigrant crowd prove embarrassing to anti-immigration lawmakers.
Read more:

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