National Immigration Forum

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The Week Ahead: July 1-5

July 01, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“Today, an overwhelming majority of senators moved us one important step closer to passing comprehensive immigration reform. This bill, should it become law, will enable us to win the global battle for talent and remain the world’s most entrepreneurial nation. I applaud the bipartisan decision in the Senate and encourage leaders in the House to seize the opportunity because America needs a smarter immigration system that meets the needs of our 21st century economy.”
— Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC and Co-Founder of America Online, following Senate passage of S. 744 June 27.

Immigration Reform: House Up Next Following Bipartisan Passage in Senate
Adapted from Friday's Policy Update by Maurice Belanger

On Thursday, the Senate voted to pass the sweeping immigration reform legislation introduced in April by the bipartisan “gang of eight.” The vote on final passage was 68 to 32. Majority leader Harry Reid underscored the importance of the vote by having Senators vote from their desks as the clerk called the roll — a formality generally reserved only for the most momentous votes. Vice President Joe Biden presided, and the final vote took place before a packed Senate Gallery.

Now the pressure is on the House of Representatives to act. Congress is in recess this week for the July 4 holiday, but House Republicans already plan to meet on July 10, after their return, and discuss how to proceed on immigration.

Opponents of reform are in a stronger position in the House, but the eyes of the nation are now focused on House leaders. House decision makers also are hearing support for broad reform from across the political spectrum, including the nation's Bibles, Badges and Business leaders and the Evangelical Immigration Table — networks whose support in the Senate helped create space for the introduction and passage of a broad, bipartisan bill.

Tuesday: Bethlehem Project to Launch Citywide in Los Angeles
On Tuesday, just in time for Fourth of July citizenship celebrations, the Bethlehem Project will launch citywide in Los Angeles with an in-person press conference at 9 a.m. PDT at American Apparel.

A project of the National Immigration Forum, the Bethlehem Project facilitates immigrant integration by assisting local business partners' eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process. As a result, they become more valuable workers and full participants in the workplace, community and economy.

Tuesday's press conference will highlight American Apparel's participation, the addition of the AltaMed health care network and increasing interest among other Los Angeles businesses. Speakers will include leaders from these businesses, the Forum and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as an American Apparel employee who is participating in the program.

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: Immigration Advocates Lay Plans to Sway House
By Julia Preston
June 28, 2013
WASHINGTON — Even as they were popping corks on Thursday night after a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate to pass an immigration bill, supporters of the overhaul were laying plans for the far more difficult task of moving something similar through the Republican-controlled House.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio insisted on Thursday that the House would not take up the Senate bill and would pass its own measure only if a majority of Republicans backed it, instead of relying more on Democratic votes. As a sign of the conservative direction of the debate in the House, its Judiciary Committee recently approved a bill to enforce immigration laws inside the country that was much tougher than anything from the Senate. The House has yet to produce a bill that includes a core piece of the Senate legislation: a path to citizenship for 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country.
While supporters are hardly confident, they say House Republicans will soon discover a crucial difference this year from failed immigration efforts of the past. They say their coalition is broader and far more energized and committed than in 2007, when an immigration overhaul by President George W. Bush did not even reach a vote in the Senate.
Latinos, who showed their voting clout when they overwhelmingly supported President Obama last November, are a leading force, but are not the only one, supporters said. Business and technology industry groups, labor unions, agricultural growers, farmworkers, law enforcement associations, churches, educators, youth groups and other immigrant organizations are also in the mix.
Read more:

GANNETT NEWS SERVICE: Senate passes sweeping immigration reform bill
By Erin Kelly
June 28, 2013
Immigration reform advocates and opponents are turning their attention to the House after the Senate’s passage of a landmark immigration reform bill to boost border security and provide a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
The Senate passed the historic 1,200-plus page bill Thursday by a vote of 68-32. Fourteen Republican senators joined all 52 Democrats and two independents to pass the bill, which was crafted by a bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators that included Arizona Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake. Louisiana senators split on the bill with Democrat Mary Landrieu voting in favor of it and Republican David Vitter voting against it.
“The Senate’s passage of a major immigration reform bill is a milestone, but it is only half the battle,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration expert and law professor at Cornell University Law School. “A tougher battle lies ahead in the House.”
House Speaker John Boehner vowed that the House would take up its own legislation rather than voting on the bipartisan Senate bill.
Read more:

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