National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: June 3-7

June 03, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“To those who say that this immigration effort undermines the rule of law, the rule of law has been undermined for the past thirty years by the federal government’s refusal to take a stand on this issue. We must hold our representatives accountable for the current mess and make them vote between this possible immigration solution and the broken status quo.”
—Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller at a Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform event in Frankfort, Ind., May 30

Congressional Budget Office to Announce Findings on Senate Immigration Bill
As Congress returns to Washington from its Memorial Day recess, the Senate immigration bill resides with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for “scoring.” All legislation must go through the CBO, which “scores” bills based on whether they would increase or decrease the national debt.

A fair but conservative CBO report is likely in the coming days. Key elements to watch for include whether the report includes economic benefits that would stem from creating a pathway to legal status and eventual U.S. citizenship for the millions of unauthorized immigrants already living in the country. Such benefits are likely to be substantial.

Immigrants — whether newly arrived via legal channels or newly empowered through legalization — are workers who add value to the economy through what they produce. They are consumers and entrepreneurs who create jobs through their purchasing power and the businesses they establish, both of which sustain U.S. jobs and generate new streams of tax revenue.

Further substantive action in the Senate will follow the CBO’s announcement. The bill is likely to proceed to the Senate floor next week.

June 12 ‘BBB to DC’ Event Will Showcase Breadth of Support for Reform
Just as the full Senate is likely to be taking up the immigration-reform bill, faith, law enforcement and business leaders from the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform (BBB) network will come to Washington from around the country to show their support for broad, commonsense reform.

“BBB to DC” will feature a breakfast program, open to press, with a keynote address by Haley Barbour, among other speakers. Barbour is former governor of Mississippi, former chairman of the Republican Governors Association and co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center Immigration Task Force.

Following the program, Bibles, Badges and Business leaders will deliver their message of support for reform directly to members of Congress and their staffs in meetings on Capitol Hill — possibly while debate is under way on the Senate floor. The event follows a recess week during which BBB leaders from Indiana, Missouri and Kansas and California held events to continue the momentum for bipartisan immigration solutions.

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

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


TIME: Undocumented in Moore: Why Evangelicals Want Immigration Reform

By Elizabeth Dias
May 30, 2013
Pastor Isaías Vargas leads a Latino evangelical church just a mile from Plaza Towers Elementary, the Oklahoma school that was flattened in last week’s devastating tornado. When the storm hit, Vargas immediately knew his church, Ciudad de Dios, would become a center point for Latino relief efforts. Soon he learned that nineteen Latino families in the church’s neighborhood suffered total or near total loss. But there was a catch: At least thirteen of the families were undocumented immigrants.
Thirteen families may not seem like much, but it is a lot for a small church of only 50 to 75 people, especially given the enormity of their need. The basic needs of these families are the same as their documented neighbors—water, food, transportation, clothes—but their resources are far more limited. You need a social security number to get FEMA assistance. Applications demand your address, contact numbers and insurance information. In other words, going to FEMA means telling the government you are in the country illegally, and that’s a risk many families are not willing to take.
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WASHINGTON POST (Rubin Post): Immigration opponents’ arguments are really poor
By Jennifer Rubin
May 28, 2013
Immigration opponents usually fall into one of two categories — those who know nothing about what is in the bill and those who fancy themselves as experts and can recite it chapter and verse. What both categories of opponents lack, however, is a coherent argument against an immigration-reform bill. (Understand the bill in its current version will not be the final law. It will get amended on the Senate floor, and a wholly different House bill will emerge, followed by a conference with more wrangling.)
Let’s start with the strain of argument that says the border provisions are too weak and therefore won’t solve the problem or will encourage more illegal immigration. These very same people were often in favor of nearly identical measures (double fencing, more money for security, drone surveillance, etc. ) with the only difference being that this version includes a pathway to citizenship. Were the anti-Gang of 8 types proposing useless measures or did they think that border security was worth doing when they were pushing all those border-security steps?
Well, they respond, you can’t trust the Obama administration and by allowing a path to citizenship with a less-than-airtight border you’re going to wind up worse than before.
With due respect, this makes no sense. You don’t draft legislation with the idea that President Obama will be in office forever (and in fact he’ll be gone well before many of the provisions kick in). Moreover, which is better — Obama with no meaningful border-security legislation (and deciding by executive order to grant legal status to certain groups) or Obama with a ton of border-security measures and oversight by Congress?
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