National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead March 10-14

March 11, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“Conservatives need to address immigration, and they need to do it now. Our conservative base wants us to lead and legislate.”

— Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, speaking March 6 at the Conservative Political Action Conference


Bibles, Badges and Business Launches Ads
This afternoon, Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform released two ads set to run over the next month on YouTube and Facebook.

One ad features Pastor David Fleming, Senior Pastor at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, and the second features Sheriff Mark Curran of Lake County, Ill. Each calls on Congress to follow through on immigration reform this year.

“Our government is responsible for our current immigration crisis, and our government must now work to rebuild our broken immigration system,” Fleming said. “ … We urge our political leaders to be problem-solvers, not just politicians.”

“We now have an opportunity to create a process that finally addresses the fear and uncertainty immigrant communities face while allowing local, state and federal law enforcement officials to support a system that reinforces the rule of law,” Curran added.

As the Left and Right Agitate, Congress Can Make the Next Move
On both sides of the political spectrum, the importance of moving immigration reform forward has been on display and will continue to be in coming weeks.

Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), attendees heard competing visions regarding immigration reform. Although a handful of speakers contributed fiery rhetoric against reform, others emphasized its urgency. Among several supportive voices was Republican pollster Whit Ayres, who highlighted the importance of immigration reform to his party’s political future.

Meanwhile, the flow of deportations is approaching an unwelcome milestone: 2 million under the current administration. Many immigrant advocates are asking the Obama administration to provide broader administrative relief from deportations, and they plan to step up their efforts in coming weeks.

Only Congress has the power to enact a solution with staying power: a new immigration process that provides both family and economic stability. Without it, our broken immigration system will further destabilize our businesses and communities.

More and more leading conservatives recognize that the question they face is not whether reform will happen, but when — and to what extent their representatives in Congress will seize the opportunity to lead. The clock is ticking.

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: For G.O.P., Hard Line on Immigration Comes at a Cost
By John Harwood
March 7, 2014
WASHINGTON — After signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson famously told an aide: “We just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time.” He was right. But he had also done something else: delivered African-American votes to Democrats in overwhelming proportions.
The party of Lincoln has not won as many as one in five blacks in a presidential election since, while the African-American share of the electorate has swelled. That backdrop looms over deliberations by House Republican leaders over whether to kill legislation that passed in the Senate to overhaul the immigration system. The fact that top House and White House aides say it is not dead yet owes largely to fears of hardening anti-Republican sentiment among a Latino electorate that has quintupled over the last two decades.
“If we don’t pass immigration reform this year, we will not win the White House back in 2016, 2020 or 2024,” John Feehery, once a top aide to former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, wrote recently. Even if that prediction proves hyperbolic, recent history gives Republicans ample reason to take the danger seriously. Democrats have long wooed racial and ethnic minorities more vigorously than the Republicans have. Their presidential candidates have won a majority of black and Hispanic votes in every election since exit polls began.
Read more:

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Can GOP neutralize immigration as election issue?
By Nicholas Riccardi
March 9, 2014
AURORA, Colo. (AP) — If the apparent slow death of immigration legislation has any political repercussions this year, they probably will be felt in the subdivisions, shopping centers and ethnic eateries wrapped around Denver's southern end.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman represents this fast-changing district.
He's among a few vulnerable Republican members in line to be targeted by immigrant rights advocates if the House doesn't pass an immigration bill before the November election that would offer legal status to millions of people who entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visas.
The issue is no easy solution for Democrats needing to gain 17 seats to win back the House majority. Democratic campaign officials are focusing on about two dozen GOP-held seats where immigration could be a factor, but they rank only nine in the top tier of possible pickups.
Immigration advocates acknowledge their impact on House races this year is limited. Most Republicans hold safe seats in districts with relatively low numbers of immigrants. Coffman is one of the most vulnerable incumbents, but the three-term lawmaker's shift on the issue illustrates the difficulties Democrats may have.
Read more:

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