National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: January 27-31

January 27, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“Like many other evangelical leaders, I’ve urged our federal legislators to pursue solutions that would get to the roots of our immigration challenges by pursuing reforms consistent with biblical principles … Even as I applaud Gov. (Rick) Snyder’s hospitality, I urge Congress to solve the root of our problem: our immigration system is broken, and the economic impact is only the beginning of the ways that it hurts America.”

— Rev. Joel Boot, Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, in a Jan. 26 op-ed in the Grand Rapids Press


Immigration Takes Center Stage This Week
During quite a busy week for Congress, immigration reform is proving to be one of the most discussed issues. With the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) — a supporter of immigration reform — giving the Republican response, we can expect a focus from both parties on the need to move forward with reform in 2014.

Quickly on the heels of the State of the Union, House Republicans set out for their annual retreat on Wednesday, where leaders intend to discuss Republican standards for immigration reform and the path forward in the House. Early speculation suggests that the standards will be broad but a solid step forward toward reform.

From Speaker John Boehner (OH-08), to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) to Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-01), House Republican leaders continue to show their intent to address immigration reform this Congress.

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: ASSOCIATED PRESS: Ryan: House will take up immigration in pieces
By Paul J. Weber
Jan. 23, 2014
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday told Texas business leaders eager for changes to immigration laws that House Republicans will tackle reform in pieces and ruled out negotiations with the Senate on its comprehensive measure.
The Wisconsin Republican didn't offer a timetable ahead of next week's GOP House caucus annual retreat, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said immigration will top the agenda.
Supporters of an immigration overhaul are renewing hopes that 2014 could bring the first sweeping changes in decades. Ryan expressed optimism at a luncheon hosted by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce but reiterated an insistence among GOP lawmakers that reforms happen piecemeal.
"Let's just say it's eight bills — I don't know. These will represent a smart approach," Ryan said. "We don't want to get into a situation where we end up with some big 1,000-page bill. But we do realize there are things that have to be sequenced."
The Senate last year passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addressed border security, provided enforcement measures and offered a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Ryan made it clear that if the Republican-led House passes a handful of immigration bills, it won't enter talks with the Democratic-led Senate on its legislation.
Read more:

NEW YORK TIMES: House Republicans to Offer Broad Immigration Plan
By Ashley Parker and Jonathan Weisman
January 25, 2014
WASHINGTON — House Republicans are preparing to unveil their own broad template for overhauling the nation’s immigration system this week, potentially offering a small opening for President Obama and congressional Democrats to pass bipartisan legislation before the end of the year.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders are expected to release a one-page statement of immigration principles this week at their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., according to aides with knowledge of the plan. The document is expected to call for border security and enforcement measures, as well as providing a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, the aides said.
The Republican effort comes as Mr. Obama is expected to push once again for an overhaul of the immigration system in his State of the Union address Tuesday, and as lawmakers from both parties describe immigration as one of the few potential areas for bipartisan compromise before the end of the current Congress.
“The principles they lay out I’m sure won’t satisfy everybody,” Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, said at an immigration forum on Friday. But, he added, “if we can make some compromises here for the good of the country, I think we have a very good chance for the first time in a long time of changing something that is really damaging all of us.”
Read more:

WASHINGTON POST: For House Republicans, new momentum on immigration reform
By David Nakamura
January 24, 2014
Recent signals from House Republican leaders that they will pursue their own vision of immigration reform have presented the White House with an opening to achieve a major legislative deal this year that has eluded lawmakers for decades.
Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to release a brief outline of immigration principles to his caucus as soon as its annual retreat next week. The goals would include strengthening border security and creating new visas for foreign workers, while providing a path toward legalizing the status of the nation’s 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants, according to people briefed on the deliberations.
Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats expressed optimism that new momentum in the House could yield results after months in which the issue languished in the lower chamber. But they cautioned that it is far too early to determine whether a compromise could be reached between the House and Senate, which approved a bipartisan plan to overhaul border-control laws last June.
“It’s a very big deal, and there’s a path here that could get it done,” Cecilia Munoz, the White House’s director of domestic policy, said of the potential for an immigration agreement.
Read more:

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