National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead March 24-28

March 25, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Evangelicals are coming to a boiling point on this issue. We’ve prayed about this, held meetings with the White House; we’ve done all we can. Let me be clear: We face the issue of immigration every day, as pastors, as caretakers, as Latinos. This is on the top of our political agenda. It would be disingenuous of me to say it doesn’t carry heavy electoral gravitas.”

— Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, March 21

SUMMARY

Leaders Look to Congress for a Vote on Immigration Reform
As constituents and leaders across the country continue to express their support for commonsense immigration reform, they are looking to their members of Congress for action.

From Illinois to Florida and North Carolina to Ohio, leaders from across the political and vocational spectrum are stepping up to let Congress know that our country needs a vote on reform this year. This week alone, veterans in Colorado and evangelical leaders in Missouri, Florida, Colorado, Michigan and the Carolinas are meeting to discuss the imperatives for reform.

In addition, Catholic leaders continue to stress the urgency for reform following their recent Hill meetings together with evangelical leaders. The push will continue as President Obama meets with Pope Francis this week and with a Mass on the Arizona-Mexico border next week.

As human and economic costs continue to rise in the absence of a functioning immigration system, local leaders are keeping the U.S. House of Representatives on the hook — because only votes from Congress can provide a real and permanent answer.

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

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2012/LegBulletin.pdf

MUST READ: WALL STREET JOURNAL: Republican Strategists Split: Focus on 2014 or 2016?
By Laura Meckler and Beth Reinhard
March 19, 2014
Republicans are divided over how to achieve two conflicting goals: Maximizing wins in 2014 congressional races and better positioning the party for the 2016 presidential contest, when the electorate will look much different.
Some Republicans argue that with President Barack Obama’s poll numbers sinking and his health-care law unpopular, the party is on course for big House and Senate gains this fall. The worst thing the party could do, they say, is to take up contentious matters such as an immigration overhaul or some social issues, which would divide the party and could prompt GOP voters to stay home.
But others say the party has become too risk-averse. It needs to take steps now, they say, to reverse the party’s losing record in the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections and start appealing to the more diverse electorate that will turn out for the 2016 election.
It is the converse of a possible problem for the Democratic Party, where some leaders worry donors and activists aren’t working hard enough to prevent losses in midterm contests.
Bill McInturff, a longtime GOP pollster who has advised congressional and presidential campaigns, said his party’s problem is that most GOP congressional districts have been drawn to be overwhelmingly white, insulating congressional Republicans from the larger demographic shifts afoot in the nation.
“They don’t know what’s coming” demographically, he said. “It may well take another presidential loss before they figure out.”
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304026304579449701575636212?mg=reno64-wsj

WASHINGTON TIMES: Reince Priebus urges GOP to tone down anti-immigrant rhetoric
By Seth McLaughlin
March 18, 2014
Republican Party chief Reince Priebus said Tuesday that the GOP can make big gains among Hispanic voters even if it doesn’t support legalizing illegal immigrants, as long as the party finds better messengers and tones down anti-immigrant rhetoric.
A year after the Republican National Committee released a report saying it needed to do more to win Hispanic voters, GOP lawmakers in Congress are divided over what to do about illegal immigration. But Mr. Priebus said they don’t need to solve that issue in order to make gains with Latinos.
“I think we do need to tackle this issue and I think there is general agreement in the party that that needs to happen, but I would say there is no agreement to what exactly that package looks like,” Mr. Priebus said at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
“But there is also a leap of logic that some people make in that they assume it is the policy that simply drives the improvement — or will drive the improvement for the Republican Party.”
After the GOP stumbled in 2012, many national party leaders and elected officials said they needed to finally embrace broad immigration reform that included legalizing illegal immigrants.
But with action stalled in the Republican-led House, Mr. Priebus argued Tuesday that they don’t actually need to pass a bill to reap some benefits.
Democrats, though, said Mr. Priebus fails to grasp the importance of immigration as a threshold issue for Hispanics.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/18/rnc-chair-reince-priebus-predicts-gop-tsunami-2014/print/

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