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The Week Ahead: January 6-10

January 06, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“As a Christian, I’m saying, we have to do what the Bible tells us to do — whether or not it advances our politics … The more immigrants you meet, the more you realize: Immigration is a political issue, but immigrants are people. Let’s begin by treating them as people.”

— Rev. Jim Goodroe of Spartanburg, S.C., in a December 24 Los Angeles Times feature piece

“I’m going to be pushing hard to try to get [immigration reform] done early next year. The earlier the better, I think.”

— Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), January 3


Immigration Poised to be Key Issue of 2014
As Congress returns to Washington for the first time in 2014, it faces several legislative priorities — and immigration reform is coming down the pike. In the January Legislative Agenda Majority Leader Eric Cantor circulated Friday, he focused on immediate priorities such as appropriations but noted that “several outstanding issues may be brought to the floor over the next few months, including … legislation related to trade and immigration.” Cantor’s signals for positive movement on immigration reform this year complement Speaker John Boehner’s recent encouraging steps.

In addition, in December the Senate confirmed nominees for the Department of Homeland Security’s top leadership roles: Secretary Jeh Johnson and Deputy Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Johnson and Mayorkas are set to hit the ground running in enforcing immigration law while also working toward a more efficient and productive immigration system.

Across the board in D.C. and all over the country, signs point to a green light on commonsense immigration reform in 2014.

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: NEW YORK TIMES: Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration
By Michael D. Shear and Ashley Parker
January 1, 2014
WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has signaled he may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation’s immigration laws in the coming months, giving advocates for change new hope that 2014 might be the year that a bitterly divided Congress reaches a political compromise to overhaul the sprawling system.
Mr. Boehner has in recent weeks hired Rebecca Tallent, a longtime immigration adviser to Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who has long backed broad immigration changes. Advocates for an overhaul say the hiring, as well as angry comments by Mr. Boehner critical of Tea Party opposition to the recent budget deal in Congress, indicates that he is serious about revamping the immigration system despite deep reservations from conservative Republicans.
Aides to Mr. Boehner said this week that he was committed to what he calls “step by step” moves to revise immigration laws, which they have declined to specify.
Read more:

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Reverend cites Bible in immigration reform effort
By Lisa Mascaro
December 24, 2013
The Rev. Jim Goodroe was driving down Interstate 85 toward Atlanta one morning when, as sometimes happened in the quiet of a long trip, he sensed God’s presence.
Goodroe had been pondering a problem. He was trying to help a colleague find a South Carolina pastor to record a radio ad to promote biblical arguments for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.
The commercial would run statewide as part of a national campaign by the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of religious leaders, to persuade conservative Christians, particularly Republicans, to back a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.
Goodroe, the missions director for a network of Southern Baptist churches, had pastors in mind. But in this buckle of the Bible Belt, where religion and politics intertwine, it was a very big request. One pastor had already declined.
A moment of clarity stirred inside him.
“The Lord seemed to say: ‘Why don’t you do that spot? You’re the most immigrant-friendly evangelical in South Carolina,’“ Goodroe recalled.
He pulled his 2002 Honda Civic into a rest stop and texted his colleague.
“If you want me to do the spot, I’ll do it.”
Read more:,0,1070513.htmlstory#axzz2pG4O2gaN

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