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The Week Ahead: March 18-22

March 19, 2013 - Posted by Dan Gordon

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Dr. Richard Land
“This is an issue of conviction, it’s an issue of values, it’s an issue of bringing our biblical values to bear … Now is the time to do [immigration reform]. Those congressmen and senators who are standing up and going beyond the partisan divide to try to make this happen need to hear from those who support them.”

—Dr. Richard Land, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaking with reporters on a press call about the Evangelical Immigration Table’s ad buy in South Carolina, March 13, 2013


Evangelical Immigration Table Supports Earned Citizenship
On Monday the Evangelical Immigration Table released a statement in support of earned citizenship as a part of broad, bipartisan immigration reform. On a press call announcing the statement, evangelical leaders spoke about the need for aspiring Americans to have “eventual yet unfettered access to the full pursuit of our shared American dream.”

The announcement comes amid a two-week radio ad campaign on Christian radio in South Carolina to press for prompt action on immigration reform, as well as the “I Was a Stranger” prayer challenge, which encourages evangelicals in the pews as well as leaders in Congress to consider the biblical principles that can inform how we approach immigrants and immigration.

The strong call for steps to earned citizenship comes as bipartisan leaders in Congress move from principles toward legislative language — with citizenship a central focus of the debate.
Sen. Rand Paul Speaks for Reform
This morning, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, gave a speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legislative Summit in which he spoke of the need for Republicans to create “a new future” with Latino voters. In his speech, Paul made a compelling case for the party’s need to change its tone on immigration.

But more than politics inspired Paul’s support for immigration reform. He spoke about our history as a nation of immigrants and about the need for reform that comprises both human compassion and the rule of law. He cited the economic possibility of bringing out of the shadows millions of immigrants who now lack authorization, as well as the values of freedom and hard work that Americans and new immigrants share.

More and more, bipartisan leaders are hearing support from their constituents for commonsense immigration reform that embraces these same principles. Congress is catching up to the reality that such reform is both good policy and good politics.

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: POLITICO: RNC: Voters see GOP as ‘scary’ and ‘out of touch'
By Maggie Haberman
March 18, 2013
The Republican National Committee concedes in a sprawling report Monday that the GOP is seen as the party of “stuffy old men” and needs to change its ways.
Among the RNC’s proposed fixes: enacting comprehensive immigration reform, addressing middle-class economic anxieties head on and condensing a presidential primary process that saw Mitt Romney get battered for months ahead of the general election.
The committee also proposes major improvements to the party’s voter database and digital technology, which paled next to that of the Democrats and contributed to the party’s losses last year.
The suggestions are among dozens the committee makes in what RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has dubbed an “autopsy” of the party’s 2012 failures and a roadmap forward. Priebus unveiled the 98-page report at a news conference Monday morning at The National Press Club.
“There’s no one reason we lost,” Priebus said. “Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement. … So, there’s no one solution: There’s a long list of them.”
The report devotes many pages to the need to better connect with minority, female and young voters. Comprehensive immigration reform is a critical first step, it says.
“It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies,” it states. “In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”
Read more:

DAILY CALLER: National immigration debate descends on South Carolina
By Caroline May
March 13, 2013
South Carolina is becoming a hotbed of immigration advocacy as ad campaigns for and against Senate immigration reform efforts fill the Palmetto State’s airwaves.
Wednesday the Evangelical Immigration Table, a pro-immigration reform group lead by evangelical Christians, announced an immigration ad buy on 15 Christian radio stations across the state.
“Christ calls evangelicals to compassion and justice so please join a growing movement of Christians asking our political leaders for immigration solutions rooted in Biblical values, which reflect each person’s god given dignity, respect the rule of law, protect family unity, guarantee secure borders, ensure fairness to taxpayers and establish a path toward citizenship,” Rev. Jim Goodroe, director of missions for the Spartanburg County Baptist Network, says in the ad.
Goodroe goes on in the ad to encourage Christians in the state to speak out for just immigration laws and to pray for their elected leaders.
The evangelical immigration ad campaign comes as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the four GOP leaders in the “Gang of Eight,” is under attack in his state by another television ad campaign sponsored by the limited immigration group NumbersUSA that launched in late Feb.
“Who elected Lindsey Graham to demand millions more immigrant workers when so many South Carolinians are jobless?” the NumbersUSA ad asks, urging the viewer to call and “Ask Sen. Graham who he represents.”
Republicans for Immigration Reform have also launched a campaign in support of Graham’s efforts and “modernizing immigration” laws in South Carolina.
Graham faces re-election in 2014.
Another South Carolina Republican, Rep. Trey Gowdy is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
“Just as those who oppose immigration reform have been targeting South Carolina, for the same reasons we are putting these ads in South Carolina because Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy and the other representatives from South Carolina need to hear from those who support them,” Richard Land, the president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, explained to reporters on a Wednesday conference call when asked why the ads are targeting South Carolina.
Land added that the organization appreciates Grahams effort and that the campaign aims to show South Carolinians “how proud they should be of their senator taking such a strong stand on such an important issue.”
Read more:

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