National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: January 22-24

January 22, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“We all know immigration is vitally important to our economy. Our goal will be to develop an immigration policy that’s in the best interest of America, our economy, and allows the United States to get the best and brightest people to come here.”

— Steve Moore in a Jan. 21 interview on his return to the Heritage Foundation as chief economist

“If we can have a way to get that [enforcement measures] up and operating, I see no reason why we can’t also have an agreement that shows how people who are not lawfully here can be able to be lawfully here — able to live here, work here, travel to and from their home country. Be able to own a business, pay their taxes. And that is how we’re trying to outline a way to resolve this as one of several of the steps in this step by step approach.”

— Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) in a Jan. 12 Telemundo interview

“Done right, immigration reform can increase our economic growth rate, reduce our deficit and contribute significantly to America’s future ... Economic growth isn’t a blue state/red state issue — it’s an American issue. It’s within our power to create the investment, the jobs and the opportunities our country needs. If we seize the moment, and enact policies to put our economy on track for faster growth, I believe we will once again show the world that America’s best days lie ahead.”

— Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. and the new chairman of the Business Roundtable, in a Jan. 14 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.


Immigration Continues to be a Defining Issue for 2014
House Speaker John Boehner’s (OH-08) assertion that he intends to release conservative principles on immigration reform highlights reform’s continued high standing on the 2014 congressional agenda. The principles are likely to be announced around next week’s House Republican retreat, days after the president’s State of the Union address — likely also to highlight the importance of reform.

Republican leaders continue to signal that they intend to take up commonsense immigration reform this year. Last week, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), stated that he couldn’t see why undocumented immigrants couldn’t be granted a way to be able to be in the United State lawfully, as part of an agreement that also would include strict enforcement measures.

And today, Steve Moore said in an interview that he will return to the Heritage Foundation as its chief economist hoping “to develop an immigration policy that’s in the best interest of America, our economy, and allows the United States to get the best and brightest people to come here,” a more moderate tone than past Heritage responses to immigration reform this Congress.

With Republican leadership on and off the Hill signaling a path forward for immigration, 2014 still stands to be the year during which commonsense reform will cross the finish line.

Nationwide, Leaders in Faith, Law Enforcement and Business Continue Call for Reform
Outside of the Beltway, more and more leaders in the faith, law enforcement and business communities continue to speak in favor of immigration reform. Last week Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, penned an op-ed calling for immigration reform in the interest of our nation’s economic growth.

Meanwhile, today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Evangelical Immigration Table, World Relief and Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform are coming together to host a discussion on “Welcoming the Stranger: Perspectives on Immigration and Immigration Reform” in Carol Stream, Illinois.

From corner offices to church pulpits, leaders nationwide are calling for congressional action on immigration reform.

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: GOP Leaders Set to Embrace Legal Status for Immigrants
By Laura Meckler
January 16, 2014
WASHINGTON--House Republican leaders are preparing to release a set of principles to guide a House immigration overhaul, including legal status for many of the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, people familiar with the planning said.
This would represent the first time that the House GOP leadership has explicitly endorsed allowing illegal immigrants to remain and work in the U.S. While the document will stop short of the path to citizenship approved by the Senate, it represents a step toward what immigration advocates and Democrats have long sought.
The principles could be released as early as next week, ahead of the State of the Union speech on Jan. 28, where President Barack Obama is expected to again call on Congress to send him immigration legislation. They will be circulated among House Republicans for possible action this year, though timing for legislation is unclear.
The one-page document is being developed by House Speaker John Boehner’s office in conjunction with the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and others in the Republican House leadership. It contains few details but voices support for the major planks of the comprehensive bill that cleared the Senate last summer. That includes increased border security, stepped-up employment verification, a temporary worker program for low-skilled workers, more visas for high-technology workers and a path to citizenship for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, according to two people who have seen a draft.
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