National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead July 21-25

July 21, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“The surge of newly arrived migrant children crossing the U.S. border is yet another example of an immigration system that has failed. The welfare of these children demands a prompt and compassionate response from federal authorities. This most recent crisis is a mandate for Congress to take immediate and reasoned measures to pass commonsense immigration reform now.”

— Police Chief Richard Biehl of Dayton, Ohio, in a July 17 press statement

“The current crisis on the southern border highlights the critical need to address our broken immigration system. It is time for our elected representatives to set petty partisan politics aside and work together to solve these problems. The status quo has failed. We must immediately address the humanitarian crisis facing our country and deal with the scores of children who have fled violence and poverty in their own countries in order to find hope and opportunity in the United States. Congressional inaction on immigration reform is crippling public safety efforts in our local communities and allowing drug cartels to exploit innocent children and families.”

— Police Chief Michael Tupper of Marshalltown, Iowa, in a July 17 press statement


Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Head to Texas to Tour Border Facilities

In response to the current humanitarian crisis on the border, national leaders from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will visit a Customs and Border Patrol facility in McAllen and a Health and Human Services facility in San Antonio on Tuesday.

After the visits, leaders including Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Jim Richards, Executive Director, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention; and Bishop Daniel Flores, Catholic Bishop of Brownsville, Texas will host press conferences at each site.

While Congressional leaders continue to debate the issue without productive action and the number of unaccompanied children at our border only continues to grow, these faith leaders are bringing a moral voice to the current humanitarian crisis.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

MUST READ: NEW YORK TIMES: Rush to Deport Young Migrants Could Trample Asylum Claims
By Julia Preston
July 19, 2014

HARLINGEN, Tex. — The first time her aunt in Mexico took her out at night, the young teenager was told they were headed to a party.
It was no party. “It was trafficking people, drug dealers,” she recalled. “I just saw a lot of guys. They had guns. I was in shock. I was shaking. The more I was saying no, the more they treated me badly.”
It was the start of a dark ordeal for Andrea H., a Honduran then living in a Mexican border city. Her own relatives, associates of Mexican drug cartel bosses, forced her into prostitution. She was 13.
After two years she ran away, seeking safety in the United States. She tried twice, crossing the Rio Grande, scrambling over fences and hiding in cactus brush in black swarms of mosquitoes. Twice she was caught by the Border Patrol.
But when agents questioned her, Andrea did not tell them why she had fled.
Thinking back to those encounters in an interview last week, Andrea recalled the chill she had felt facing uniformed agents in bleak holding cells at a Border Patrol station within earshot of other migrants she did not know — perhaps with ties to the cartels.
“I was just trying to protect myself, and I was not saying anything to no one,” she said. Twice she agreed to leave voluntarily and was returned to Mexico.

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