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The Week Ahead: February 10-14

February 10, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why anybody would be opposed to fixing our broken immigration system … It’s hard to predict the future with great exactitude, but I will tell you this: If we don’t pass immigration reform this year, we will not win the White House back in 2016, 2020 or 2024.”

— John Feehery, GOP analyst and President of Communications and Director of Government Affairs for Quinn Gillespie and Associates, in a Feb. 6 post from his blog “The Feehery Theory”


Amid National Debate, Local Voices Continue Rallying for Immigration Reform
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged that moving immigration reform forward this year will be difficult, while also reiterating the need to get reform done.

While House lawmakers and leadership continue to debate how and when to address immigration this year, constituents nationwide remain deeply supportive of commonsense reform. With support from faith leaders nationally and across the country from Washington state to Michigan, as well as from local business and law enforcement leaders, the momentum for reform is undeniable.

The message to Capitol Hill from across the country is clear: The current Congress must move forward.

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 (Editorial): Washington's Growth Retreat: The right kills immigration reform and the left freer trade
February 6, 2014
The U.S. economy has averaged about 2.5% growth for four and a half years in what is supposedly a recovery, median household income is below where it was when the recession ended in June 2009, and job growth is mediocre. But the political class seems intent on fighting over the blame rather than trying to escape the malaise.
The latest evidence is John Boehner's punt on immigration reform. Only days ago the House Speaker floated a set of reform principles that opened the door to a potential compromise with Democrats and the Senate. But the response from the anti-reform right was so intense that he emerged at the Capitol on Thursday to more or less declare that nothing will happen on immigration this year.
"This is an important issue in our country. It's been kicked around forever, and it needs to be dealt with," Mr. Boehner said. But he added that "there's widespread doubt about whether this Administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. It's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes."
Read more:

CHRISTIAN POST: Boehner 'Taps Brakes' on Immigration Reform Due to Obama Distrust; Evangelicals Decry Inaction
By Stoyan Zaimov
February 7, 2014
Evangelical groups are asking how many more families will be broken apart due to lack of action on immigration reform in Congress, after House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that such reform will have a tough time going forward due to Republican distrust of President Barack Obama.
"With a strong majority of Americans, including evangelicals, wanting leaders to fix our broken immigration system, immigration reform is going to happen. The only question is how many families will be broken up and how much our communities have to suffer until Washington acts," Sojourners President Jim Wallis, who is part of the Evangelical Immigration Table, told The Christian Post on Thursday.
While immigration reform groups praised Obama's call to action on the issue at the State of the Union last week, and have urged bipartisan support to fix America's broken immigration system, such legislation has stalled in Congress.
The Senate has passed its own version of an immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but the House of Representatives has refused to vote on that bill, instead suggesting at least four separate bills of its own.
Read more:

WASHINGTON POST (Cillizza Post): Why Republicans shouldn’t wait to pass immigration reform
By Chris Cillizza
February 9, 2014
A betting man, which The Fix is most definitely not, would say that the odds of some sort of immigration reform measure passing before the 2014 elections are decidedly less than 50-50 after a week when both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John A. Boehner talked down the idea.
The logic is simple: The Republican base — a.k.a. the voters the party badly needs in order to win back the Senate and hold the House in November — doesn’t like the idea of providing the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States with a path to legalization or, especially, citizenship. Those in the base also don’t believe that the Obama administration is up to the task of enforcing more-stringent border security measures, even if Congress passes some.
Given how few Republican members of Congress represent competitive districts with sizable Hispanic populations — there are only four House districts Republicans hold that have a Hispanic population of 25 percent or more and were carried by President Obama in 2012 — and the strong feelings against reform within the party base, it’s not hard to see why McConnell (R-Ky.) and Boehner (R-Ohio) have cooled on the idea of passing immigration reform before the midterms.
Read more:

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