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The Week Ahead: February 3-7

February 03, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“The support [for immigration reform] across political, geographic and vocational lines is unprecedented. Leaders on both sides of the aisle are willing to rise above partisan politics and take action. It’s clear that House leaders know they can’t wait for a solution, and as evangelical leaders we want Congresswoman [Cathy] McMorris Rodgers and her colleagues in Congress to know they have our support.”

— Mark Kadel, Director of World Relief Spokane, in a Feb. 2 op-ed in the Spokesman-Review


House Republican Standards Set Stage for Reform in 2014
On Thursday, House Republicans released standards for immigration reform, which include ways to reform our broken immigration system in a way that further secures our nation’s borders, meets the needs of employers and addresses legalization, including citizenship for DREAMers.

Following the standards’ release, local Bibles, Badges and Business (BBB) leaders expressed support, and national BBB leaders joined in during a press call. In addition, national Evangelical Immigration Table leaders praised the movement on immigration — and they were joined by local evangelical leaders in states such as South Carolina, North Carolina, California and Michigan. Continuing the groundswell, this morning local pastors from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas joined national evangelical leaders on a Table press call.

Across the country, the depth of support for immigration reform continues to grow across geographic, political and professional lines. Tomorrow, former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert will participate in a BBB and Illinois Business Immigration Coalition event in support of reform — and over the weekend, he published an op-ed in Politico applauding the standards and calling for further action from House Republicans. Meanwhile, in Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ district, the director of World Relief in Spokane published a supportive op-ed as well.

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: POLITICO (Hastert Op-Ed): House GOP can't ignore immigration
By Dennis Hastert
February 2, 2014
Last week, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives published their immigration standards-a set of principles to guide debate about immigration in the House. This is a critical first step to fixing our broken immigration system.
The Senate bill, which passed last year with the support of both senators from my home state, Illinois, provides more money for border security, allows immigrants already here to work, expands visa programs and establishes an arduous 13-year path to citizenship.
The House will act in its own way, as it should. But it should act soon. Immigration reform will make our economy stronger and our country more secure.
The whole formula for immigration reform can fall into place if two basic issues are solved. First, securing our borders so we know who is entering our country and for what purpose. Second, a legalization of those folks who are already here, many of whom have been here for a decade or more. In addition, we should provide them with a path to citizenship much like any other immigrant would have. Those two things being satisfied, I believe immigration reform can move forward.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, immigration reform would increase U.S. GDP by 5.4 percent ($1.2 trillion) over the next 20 years, while jump-starting the housing recovery by dramatically increasing the demand for housing units. A report by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that immigration reform would also shave more than $1.2 trillion off the federal deficit over 20 years.
Read more:

THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Kadel Op-Ed): Immigration reform a moral, national duty
By Mark Kadel
February 2, 2014
So far, 2014 has brought nothing but positive movement on the immigration front. The release of Republican standards on immigration reform will be crucial to propelling this momentum forward, and we support this process.
Our current immigration system is broken. The release of these principles will show that Republicans recognize this too and are serious about passing reform in 2014.
The conservative principles, coupled with the president’s State of the Union address and the Republican response, highlight immigration’s continued prevalence in the 2014 congressional agenda.
I and other Spokane pastors – Doug Wagley at New Vision Lutheran, Daniel Bonney at Opportunity Christian Fellowship, Nick Block at Spokane Friends Church, Eric Blauer at Jacob’s Well Church, James Leman at First Free Methodist Church and Rod Cosgrove at Garland Church – are excited and privileged that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, asupporterof immigration reform, gave the Republican rebuttal to the State of the Union, and we can expect positive bipartisan agreement on the need to act.
Our legislators are showing that the need for common-sense reform transcends politics.
Republican leaders in Congress clearly agree that further securing our borders and giving aspiring Americans the opportunity to earn legal status is a priority.
And they have the support of their constituents across the country as well.
Not only do our members of Congress have the support of evangelical leaders back home, but also law enforcement and business leaders. From farms to corner offices to church pews, leaders nationwide are calling for congressional action on immigration reform.
Read more:

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