National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead May 19-23

May 19, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Congress must pass legislation that will fix our broken [immigration] system. We have the strongest economy in the world, the most innovative businesses and a history replete with examples of how legal immigration has made us stronger. Conservatives need to seize on immigration reform as an opportunity for growth, to reaffirm who we are and what makes our country great.”

— Sal Russo, Co-founder of the Tea Party Express, May 14

SUMMARY

No Letup Following a Powerful Week for Immigration Reform
Immigration was front and center among conservatives last week, and support for votes on immigration reform was unmistakable.

On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner said, “Our entire immigration process is broken … it all needs to be addressed.” Texas faith and business leaders were on hand to show support for House leaders and rank-and-file representatives as they move reform forward. The next day in Washington, D.C., law enforcement leaders urged Congress to vote on reform that will help them keep our communities safer, while in six Mountain West states, leaders signed a letter to Congress and held press events urging action.

Then on Wednesday, the Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform and the Tea Party Express released a poll showing strong support — upward of 70 percent — for immigration reform among Republican primary voters who identify with the Tea Party. Respondents support reform that includes an opportunity for immigrants without documentation to earn legal status or U.S. citizenship if they meet certain conditions, and they support votes from Congress in 2014. Other conservative leaders echoed their call.

Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform leaders will keep their foot on the gas pedal this week. Leaders will join a press call Friday to announce a public service announcement featuring Lake County, Ill., Sheriff Mark Curran that will air outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway throughout the weekend of the Indianapolis 500. “It’s time for effective, commonsense and accountable solutions that respect and enhance the rule of law,” Curran says in the spot. “We need to solve this challenge now. No more excuses. No more waiting.”

Evangelical Immigration Table to Premiere Documentary Film June 4
On June 4 in Chicago, the Evangelical Immigration Table will premiere “The Stranger.” This documentary film highlights the biblical call to welcome the stranger and the moral imperatives for immigration reform, including the immense human costs our current system exacts on our churches, our families and our communities.

The premiere coincides with the next congressional recess, and hundreds of local screenings around the country will follow throughout June. The trailer for the film will be available online later today.

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: ROLL CALL (Russo Op-Ed): Conservatives Need to Fix the Broken U.S. Immigration System
By Sal Russo
May 14, 2014
The U.S. immigration system is flawed and broken. Conservatives should be at the forefront of reform so the law reflects the just interests of the United States, not misty-eyed ideals of some of the liberal do-gooder reformers. What is good for America should be the sole criteria for immigration reform.
Our laws today are unenforced and citizens and companies who play by the rules are undermined by bad actors who do not. This undermines our rule of law and slows our economic growth. In today’s global economy, we cannot afford the status quo.
Congress must pass legislation that will fix our broken system. We have the strongest economy in the world, the most innovative businesses and a history replete with examples of how legal immigration has made us stronger. Conservatives need to seize on immigration reform as an opportunity for growth, to reaffirm who we are and what makes our country great.
Our economy has long outgrown the visa programs we have now. In high-skilled industries such as engineering and medicine, we do not have the talent we need to fill the jobs. These industries are the fastest growing in the country and we depend on them for job creation and economic growth. But according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, we face a shortage of more than 235,000 jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields by 2018.
Read more: http://www.rollcall.com/news/conservatives_need_to_fix_the_broken_us_immigration_system_commentary-232970-1.html

TAMPA TRIBUNE (Cardenas Op-Ed): Congress needs to act with urgency to fix badly broken immigration system
By Al Cardenas
May 15, 2014
Everyone in Congress agrees that we have an unsustainable immigration crisis. This crisis includes porous borders, poor visa expiration controls, and a labor quota system that does not respond to the labor and production needs of our economy and is, in fact, detrimental to our country in its current state.
Thus, after the government shutdown of last fall, Congress returned to work pledging to make immigration reform a reality. Now, six months later, we are looking at a narrowing window of opportunity to fully engage on this issue as soon as Congress returns from recess.
The leadership of the House understands how imperative it is to adopt legislation to provide bipartisan solutions to our immigration and economic challenges.
America has a declining population. In 20 years, 79 million baby-boomer generation Americans will have left the workforce to be replaced by fewer than 50 million X-generation and millennials. The USA cannot sustain its economic production or the labor needs of its employers without a smart legal immigration system being put in place now.
In Florida, it is estimated that our economy and GDP will increase by $2.7 billion and a total of 35,000 new jobs will have been created within the first decade after the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. This is one reason why 70 percent of Floridians favor legislative action now.
Read more: http://tbo.com/list/news-opinion-commentary/congress-needs-to-act-with-urgency-to-fix-badly-broken-immigration-system-20140515/

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