Blog & Updates
The Week Ahead: February 24-28
February 26, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“If I can do anything in Washington, I’d like to solve this problem.”
— Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (NC-02) at Feb. 19 Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform panel with North Carolina faith and business leaders
Republican House Leadership Faces Choice on Immigration
As House Republicans return to the Hill this week, they will quickly face a choice on which direction they want to take their party on immigration. While Congressman Steve King (IA-04) continues to be the voice of the small but vocal far-right minority, many other members of Congress are stepping forward with real intent to fix our broken immigration system.
In the past week alone, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (NC-02), Congressman Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) have commented on the importance of addressing immigration reform. These remarks build on the continuing narrative from faith, business and law enforcement leaders from across the country that now is the time for commonsense reform.
For leaders and voters nationwide, the choice is clear on which path Republicans should take. The question that remains is if House leadership will follow their constituents’ lead.
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 READS: NEW YORK TIMES: G.O.P. Congressman in South Carolina Takes a Risk With a Foray Into Immigration
By JULIA PRESTON
February 21, 2014
GAFFNEY, S.C. — After the sterling conservative voting record he has established during three years in Washington, Representative Mick Mulvaney, a Republican, can take a few political risks in his South Carolina district, one of the most conservative in this reliably Republican state. This week he did just that.
Mr. Mulvaney convened a town-hall meeting in this country town on the troublesome issue of immigration, with an audience of Latinos. He held forth for an hour, parsing policy and answering questions about the prospects for immigration legislation in the House — entirely in Spanish.
Even more surprising to the spellbound crowd at the First Baptist Church, Mr. Mulvaney said he and other conservative House Republicans were open to some kind of legal status, although not a path to citizenship, for many immigrants living in the country illegally.
But he also said it would not happen this year: Republicans just do not trust President Obama to carry out any law they might enact.
“We are afraid that if we reach an agreement,” the congressman said, making the most of the Spanish skills he acquired years ago in college, “he will take the parts he likes and he won’t take the parts that he doesn’t like.”
The politics of immigration are gradually shifting in South Carolina and some other Southern states, where not long ago most conservatives passionately rejected legalization as amnesty that rewarded lawbreakers. Like Mr. Mulvaney, a number of Republicans are moving toward the view that the immigration system needs fixing, and that 11.7 million illegal immigrants will not be deported and need a path to legal status.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/22/us/politics/gop-congressman-in-south-carolina-takes-a-risk-with-a-foray-into-immigration.html?hp&_r=0
NEWS & OBSERVER (Editorial) (North Carolina): Ellmers shows courage on immigration reform
February 20, 2014
Republican Renee Ellmers, who won a seat in Congress by beating long-time Democratic incumbent Rep. Bob Etheridge in the 2nd District in 2010, is a conservative by anyone’s definition.
Unless that anyone is Frank Roche, her GOP primary opponent. The radio talk show host is blasting away on the immigration issue, taking the easy way out. He wants no immigration reform and no “amnesty” for any of the 11 million illegal immigrants now in the United States. He can be expected to attack Ellmers on the issue even more now.
Why? Because Ellmers has had the gumption to veer away from the ridiculous tea party hard-line and say, as she did recently in Cary, that she believes in immigration reform.
“If I can do anything in Washington,” she said, “I’d like to solve this problem.”
Better duck, Rep. Ellmers. That sounds positively reasonable and therefore foreign, no pun intended, to the tea partyers who have their blinders firmly in place and want to believe that immigrants now living illegally in the U.S. can somehow be deported or deport themselves.
Ellmers’ rather broad ideas about immigration reform include an emphasis on border security. That’s a catch-term used by Republicans who want to try to appease, somehow, the more conservative elements in their party by talking about border fences and guards as a first step in reform.
Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/02/20/3640240/ellmers-shows-courage-on-immigration.html
GREENVILLE NEWS (Eason, Goodroe and Castillo Op-Ed) (South Carolina): God often reminds us to welcome immigrants
By Ricky Eason, Jim Goodroe and Greg Castillo
February 22, 2014
Late last month, House Republicans released standards that will guide their efforts as they move forward on immigration reform. As evangelical leaders, we join voices from the business and law enforcement communities to strongly support this step.
We applaud any progress toward a solution for one of our nation’s most complex and critical issues. With President Barack Obama’s comments in the State of the Union address, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ mention in her Republican response, and now the release of these standards, bipartisan support for immigration reform is clear.
In a time of bitter division and partisan politics, we call on our nation’s leaders to transcend their differences and pass commonsense, broad reform that will strengthen our economy, make our nation safer, and give our undocumented neighbors an opportunity to come out of the shadows and earn legal status.
As faith leaders who call ourselves “The Three Amigos,” we represent the three largest ethnic groups in South Carolina. Although we come from communities with different cultural and political perspectives, we stand united in our Christian commitment to share the Gospel with all peoples (Matthew: 28:19), welcome and love the strangers in our midst (Leviticus 19:34, Matthew 25:31-46), and seek justice in our communities (Isaiah 1:17).
Read more: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20140223/OPINION05/302230019/God-often-reminds-us-welcome-immigrants?nclick_check=1
The Rev. Ricky Eason is pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship Church in Spartanburg. The Rev. Jim Goodroe is director of Missions for the Spartanburg County Baptist Network, a Southern Baptist association of 95 churches who worship in six languages. The Rev. Greg Castillo is pastor of El Buen Pastor and associate pastor of United Baptist Church Spartanburg.