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The Week Ahead June 16-20

June 16, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“My message to Congress is that there are no more excuses. It is unacceptable to say that it’s too hard to pass immigration reform. As members of Congress, you’re put in this position of leadership to make these tough decisions. To deny immigrants the right the serve their country, the country they love, is in my opinion un-American. Our military has to reflect our country, and our country is one of immigrants.”

— Jesus Magaña, U.S. Air Force Veteran from Arizona at the Veterans for Immigration press conference on June 12


Despite Cantor Loss, Leaders Continue to Press for Reform
In spite of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat, leaders from across the country and across constituencies are continuing to urge Congress to move forward with votes on broad immigration reform this summer, confident that the legislative window still remains.

On Thursday, members of the group Veterans for Immigration Reform were in Washington, D.C. to meet with their members and call for an immigration system that honors our immigrant veterans’ service and sacrifice. The group held a panel discussion at the National Press Club and released a paper outlining reasons from a military perspective for reform, including the recruitment crisis the military faces. Also on Thursday, leaders from the Evangelical Immigration Table released a letter to House leadership calling for action on commonsense reform.

Meanwhile across the country, the Evangelical Immigration Table’s documentary film The Stranger has over 1,000 screenings scheduled in more than 37 states this month, following its world premiere in Chicago last week. The film highlights the moral imperatives for reform, including the immense human costs our current system exacts on our churches, our families and our communities.

Polls Show Continued Conservative Support for Reform
Last week, released a poll conducted by 10 GOP pollsters that found that Americans overwhelmingly believe the immigration system in the country is broken and that Congress should take immediate action to fix it.

Similarly, VA-07 post-primary polling done by conservative pollster Jon Lerner proved Cantor’s loss had very little, if anything to do with immigration, while the same Republican primary voters said they overwhelming view the immigration status quo as broken and want it fixed promptly.

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: EFE: Veterans join those demanding immigration reform
June 12, 2014
Veterans gathered in Washington on Thursday to call for immigration reform that acknowledges the efforts of their immigrant comrades as well as the diversity and richness they contributed to the ranks of the U.S. Armed Forces, and they also asked for equal treatment for their families.
Veterans for Immigration Reform at a press conference presented a document in which they defended the legacy of immigrants in the military before beginning a series of meetings with lawmakers to press for immigration reform.
Brett Hunt, the founder of Vets4Reform, said that immigrants have been on the front lines in all the wars the United States has fought and noted that he himself had served in Iraq with fellow soldiers from Kenya, Honduras, Mexico and Vietnam.
Nevertheless, he said that even after risking their lives, these veterans and their families "have no guarantee of being treated fairly by our immigration regulations."
"We have a debt to those veterans and to their families," Hunt said.
U.S.-born Jesus Magaña joined the Armed Forces at 19 and when he was stationed in Afghanistan he learned that his sister, who when she arrived in the United States from Mexico was 8 months old, was in detention awaiting deportation.
Lawmakers "have no more excuses" for continuing to delay the process of comprehensive immigration reform, Magaña said.
Read more:

POLITICO: Polls on left and right agree: Eric Cantor didn’t lose on immigration
By Jessica Meyers
June 12, 2014
A new conservative-sponsored poll mirrors a liberal counterpart and throws more water on notions that the battle over immigration led to the downfall of Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Only 22 percent of Virginia residents who voted for Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat, cited immigration as the primary reason for their vote, according to the poll. About 77 percent cited other factors, such as the Republican leader’s focus on national politics instead of local issues.
Americans for a Conservative Direction, the right-leaning branch of, commissioned the poll. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched the broader advocacy group last year in his first foray into politics.
The results resemble findings in a poll commissioned by liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change. It noted about 72 percent of registered voters in Cantor’s district support reforms.
Immigration reform has stalled in the House for months, and advocates see this summer as the last chance before fall elections. They’ve never considered Cantor much of an ally, but Brat made immigration a central focus of the race and slammed the Republican leader for agreeing to even piecemeal proposals.
Read more:

WASHINGTON POST (Rubin Post): Why immigration reform isn’t dead
By Jennifer Rubin
June 12, 2014
It is oh-so-tempting to blame House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat on immigration reform. Certainly, voters have multiple reasons for voting for or against a candidate, and undoubtedly some were swayed by the falsehoods put out by talk-radio show entertainers that Cantor wanted to open the borders and grant amnesty to everyone who is here illegally. You really can fool all of the people, some of the time.
But if immigration was even a partial rationale for some voters, it was based on an entirely false picture of Cantor’s position, which was decidedly to the right of the Senate Gang of Eight. Facts are stubborn things, despite the power of a microphone to distort and whip up a crowd. To begin with, as conservative columnist Salena Zito pointed out, “Though some pundits quickly jumped on [David] Brat’s accusation that Cantor dragged his feet on immigration reform as a main reason for his downfall . . . others believe Cantor simply became an unpopular leader. He has voted to increase border security and opposed immigration reform measures like the DREAM Act.” So yes, if you let your position be caricatured falsely, it probably is going to hurt you.
Read more:

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