National Immigration Forum

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The Week Ahead: July 15-19

July 16, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“It’s clear from the conversation we had yesterday that the members do believe—a vast majority of our members do believe—that we have to wrestle with this problem. They also believe that we need to do this step-by-step, commonsense approach.”
— House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, after the July 10 Republican House Caucus meeting on immigration


Bibles, Badges and Business Leaders Push for Reform at Local Events
As attention focuses even more closely on the House of Representatives, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform (BBB) network is hosting local events across the country to discuss the positive economic, spiritual, and security impact of immigration reform on a local and national level.

In Springfield, Ill., the “Illinois Voices for Immigration Reform” event Wednesday will feature the sheriff of Kane Country, the heads of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Farm Bureau’s director of national legislation and policy development, the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association and a Springfield pastor who coordinates the Hispanic Ministries of the Diocese of Springfield.

And on Friday in Lexington, Ky., faith and business leaders and immigrants will discuss the importance of immigration to the state. Speakers will include a pastor and the owners of a horse farm and the Kentucky Trade Company, among others.

From Colorado to Illinois, Utah to Kentucky, local leaders in the faith, law enforcement and business communities are making their voices heard on immigration as part of a broader national effort to let members of Congress know that they have the political support they need back home to do the right thing in Washington.

Evangelicals Set Their Sights on the House
Also at this pivotal moment, the Evangelical Immigration Table is planning a Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, D.C., on July 24 to cap off its 92-day Prayer for Reform campaign. Hundreds of evangelicals and evangelical leaders are expected in Washington for a day that will include a press conference on the west front of the Capitol, a prayer service and meetings with dozens of congressional offices.

Speakers will include leaders from around the country who will emphasize the urgent need for reform that reflects the Evangelical Immigration Table’s principles, including the need for both family unity and a secure border, and respect for human dignity as well as the rule of law. They also will underscore the importance that immigration reform include the eventual opportunity for aspiring Americans to come out of the shadows and earn citizenship.

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: ARIZONA REPUBLIC (Walden and Schutte Op-Ed): Immigrant reform, with citizenship path, is in reach
By Nan Stockholm Walden and Chris Schutte
July 12, 2013
Partisan rancor has pervaded Washington for years, but a valid conversation on immigration is finally taking place in our country.
There is much reason for hope. It comes in the form of the bipartisan bill the Senate recently passed 68-32, which emphasizes human dignity and recognizes reform as good for both our communities and our economy.
Arizona’s Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are part of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” that negotiated the bill. Both voted for final passage.
Now the focus shifts to the House, where leaders must follow through with broad immigration reform.
As business and faith leaders here in Arizona, we see the need for a better immigration process — one that honors the American values of freedom and hard work, no matter what you look like or where you were born.
These are the values on which our country was founded, and they have endured as generations of immigrants have arrived on our shores. We work shoulder to shoulder with people who saw enough promise in the American dream that they were willing to uproot and move here to pursue it.
Read more:
Nan Stockholm Walden is vice president of Farmers Investment Company in Sahuarita. The Rev. Chris Schutte is rector at Christ Church Anglican in Phoenix.

POLITICO (Plouffe and Schmidt Op-Ed): Pass the immigration bill
By David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt
July 15, 2013
It’s anyone’s guess what the long-term political outcome of passing immigration reform will be. Some say passing immigration is a silver bullet for curing what ails Republicans with Hispanics. That’s wrong. But until it passes, Hispanic voters will not even listen to what Republicans offer on other issues like the economy and education. As the Republican National Committee rightly concluded in its 2012 post-mortem, “if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”
This analysis is spot-on. Immigration is about tone and values: fairness, responsibility, playing by the rules. Most importantly for Republicans in Washington, this debate is about displaying tolerance. Killing immigration reform would be the latest example of a Republican vision for a less open and less tolerant America that is wildly out of touch with voters today.
Rapidly changing demographics compound the GOP’s woes – especially at the presidential level. Since 1992, the white share of the national electorate has dropped in every presidential contest and fallen by 5 percent on average across the core battleground states in the last eight years. The Hispanic share of the electorate has nearly doubled in places like Colorado and Nevada since 2004, and Hispanics turned out in record numbers nationally in 2012.
But this isn’t just presidential-sized problem for Republicans. It can hurt many of them where they least expect it but it matters most: back home in their districts. That’s because some of the fastest-growing media markets among Hispanics are in places like Charlotte, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Kansas City – places that will matter electorally outside of the presidential race in every cycle.
Read more:
David Plouffe was campaign manager of the 2008 Obama campaign and a senior adviser to President Obama, and Steve Schmidt was senior adviser to the 2008 McCain campaign and an adviser in the George W. Bush administration.

YAHOO NEWS: Boehner: ‘Vast majority’ of House GOP want to act on immigration; Pelosi points to support from ‘Bible folks’
By Chris Moody
July 11, 2013
After months of being told to hurry up on immigration, it's time to wait.
House Republicans said they plan to act, but not in haste, after huddling in a closed-door meeting to discuss how to proceed on an immigration bill.
While the chamber intends to proceed on immigration, Speaker John Boehner reiterated on Thursday that the House would not take up the Senate immigration bill that passed last month with bipartisan support. Several House Republicans offered their perspectives on the issue during their meeting, Boehner said, concluding that “a vast majority” of the conference wants to see a bill passed that addresses border enforcement and the approximately 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
“It’s clear from the conversation we had yesterday that the members do believe—a vast majority of our members do believe—that we have to wrestle with this problem,” Boehner told reporters Thursday. “They also believe that we need to do this step-by-step common sense approach.”
Read more:

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