National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Blog & Updates

The Week Ahead: January 13-17

January 13, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“We’re determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted. The Chamber will pull out all the stops — through grassroots lobbying, communications, politics and partnerships with unions, faith organizations, law enforcement and others — to get it done.”

— Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a Jan. 8 press conference

“Quite simply, broad immigration reform would make our communities safer and law-enforcement operations clearer. Most of our ancestors arrived here from a distant land, in search of a better life. They found this unique land of freedom and opportunity, and we continue to reap the benefits. I believe that America is exceptional and has a continued destiny for greatness. But we will not be great if we do not act in a fair and compassionate way to the men, women and children who live and work among us, and dream our same dreams.”

— Grant Woods, Republican former attorney general of Arizona, in a Jan. 12 Arizona Republic op-ed

SUMMARY

Republican Leadership Continues to Show Commitment to Immigration in 2014
In another example of Republican House leadership’s intentions to take up immigration in 2014, last week Speaker John Boehner (OH-08) said that in the coming weeks he plans to release a document of conservative principles on immigration reform. Speaker Boehner’s latest statements show he is taking ownership of immigration reform this Congress and adds to other promising signs in the past few weeks from Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-07).

Although these signs are still preliminary, they signal a hopeful start to 2014 and an important stepping-stone on the way to immigration reform in the House of Representatives this Congress.

Naturalization and Integration Programs Help Immigrants Nationwide
While immigration reform remains a top legislative concern in Washington, organizations across the country are working with legal permanent residents to help them apply for their U.S. citizenship. Integration networks such as the New Americans Campaign are hosting information sessions nationwide in Orange County and elsewhere to help immigrants realize their full potential as part of our nation.

Later this week, Bay Area ethnic media, immigrant advocacy organizations and young recently naturalized citizens are coming together at a roundtable in San Jose to discuss the role of ethnic media in the 2014 citizenship campaign.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

MUST READ: LOS ANGELES TIMES: Boehner drafting GOP principles on immigration overhaul
By Brian Bennett and Lisa Mascaro
January 8, 2014
WASHINGTON — Seeking to make an overhaul of immigration laws a priority, House Speaker John A. Boehner vowed Wednesday that he would soon release a document of conservative "principles" on the issue intended to prod Republicans to pass a series of bills this year.
The high-profile promise from the Ohio Republican, who is drafting a one-page list with his leadership team, comes as he is eager to press ahead on a topic that is important to his party's political future. But the speaker faces continued resistance from powerful conservative groups and an intractable flank of House Republicans who oppose citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.
"We are working on a standards or principles document," Boehner told House Republicans in their first closed-door meeting in the new year, according to a Republican in the room who, like others discussing the internal deliberations, asked not to be identified.
Even though the document is expected to be vague, immigration advocates viewed it as a clear sign Boehner and his leadership team will try to persuade their reluctant majority to act on the issue. The Senate-passed immigration overhaul has languished in the House.
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-gop-immigration-20140109,0,5532597.story#axzz2qDwvNcRZ

ARIZONA REPUBLIC (Woods Op-Ed): Broad immigration reform long overdue for U.S.
By Grant Woods
Jan 12, 2014
As a state and as a nation, as Republicans and as Democrats, we are ready for immigration reform.
Today, at the beginning of a new year, we are closer to real immigration reform than we have been in a generation. As a former Arizona attorney general, I continue to urge Congress to move forward on reform.
Law enforcement is always about prioritizing, and, for obvious reasons, protecting victims and aggressively pursuing those who commit violent crimes must be our top priority.
But our broken immigration system undermines our ability to do both of those things.
Every day, state and local law-enforcement agents face the difficult task of trying to solve crimes when people living in the shadows are fearful that if they report a crime, they may be deported.
Those duly charged with protecting our communities are often thwarted in their investigations when people see them as immigration officers and are afraid to raise their hand.
It breaks my heart to think that crimes go unreported in our communities because of this fear. Violent criminals are emboldened by our antiquated immigration system.
Let me be clear: Being here without proper documentation is a violation of the civil code. And reform must strengthen border security and promote legal immigration.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20140112broad-immigration-reform-overdue.html
Grant Woods, a Republican, served as attorney general of Arizona from 1991 to 1999.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Free help for would-be citizens at local libraries
By Roxana Kopetman
January 10, 2014
The U.S. government wants to help legal residents attain citizenship.
Free information sessions on naturalization will be held in Orange County libraries this month, beginning with an event at the Westminster Library on Saturday.
The upcoming sessions at libraries in Westminster, Garden Grove and Irvine will provide information about eligibility and residency requirements, application forms, fees and other information. Most will be bilingual, with presentations in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Farsi.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is not the only agency looking to create new citizens.
Nationwide, a network of organizations is working to encourage the country’s legal permanent residents—an estimated 8.8 million green-card holders—to become citizens.
While much of the discussion in the nation’s capital focuses on an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, there are an estimated 8.8 million legal permanent residents eligible to become citizens. In Orange County, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, it takes approximately five months to become a citizen, from the day of application to taking the oath of allegiance.
“Our goal is to get as many legal permanent residents to become citizens. We’re a nation of immigrants,” said Mario Moreno, a spokesman for the New Americans Campaign, a leading voice in the national effort.
Read more: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/citizenship-596885-naturalization-citizens.html

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