National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead May 27-30

May 27, 2014 - Posted by Communications Intern

“It’s time for effective, commonsense and accountable [immigration] solutions that respect and enhance the rule of law. We need to solve this challenge now. No more excuses. No more waiting.”

— Mark Curran, Sheriff, Lake County, Ill., in an ad that ran at the Indianapolis 500 Friday through Sunday


Event Today to Highlight Immigrant Military Veterans and Service Members
Veterans will meet today in Chicago to shine a light on the vital importance of immigrants in the U.S. military and the need for immigration reform that honors the contributions of immigrants and immigrant veterans. Military veterans are a powerful emerging voice in favor of reform.

At today’s event, “Defending Our Freedom: Illinois’ Immigrant Soldiers,” leaders in the veteran community will highlight the vital role of immigrants in our military and to our national security, as well as the plight of immigrants who have served and later were deported.

Today’s gathering follows a similar one in Arizona on April 30th, and other veterans gatherings are in the works in South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Follow today’s event and the support for immigration reform among military veterans on Twitter using #Vets4Reform.

Homeland Security Secretary to Testify before Congress
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will testify as the sole witness Thursday at a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, the first time the new secretary will testify before Congress.

While the Department of Homeland Security's responsibilities includes a wide variety of issues, from cybersecurity to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the hearing is likely to focus on the department's ongoing review of its immigration enforcement priorities and a report by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The review, which President Obama announced in March, comes after mounting pressure by advocates to end record levels of enforcement and deportations. The report, based on an unreferenced document, indicated that Immigration and Customs Enforcement “released” thousands of criminal aliens who were awaiting decisions regarding their deportation.

Although more information is necessary, most of the people in question were not merely “released” by ICE. They are still being monitored, using alternatives to detention such as ankle bracelets or regular check-ins, and they are still in removal proceedings. According to the most recent ICE statistics, 94 percent of people in alternatives to detention appear at their removal hearings.

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: INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Immigration reform seeks big audience at Indianapolis 500
By Diana Penner
May 21, 2014
The Indianapolis 500 field features racers from many countries, the race is watched by millions of people around the globe — and this year, it also will be a forum for Americans urging thoughtful immigration policy reform.
A coalition called Bibles, Badges and Business, an initiative of the group National Immigration Forum, said it will unveil a “jumbotron” message at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday calling for immigration reform, a message that will be in place through race weekend.
The formal announcement and unveiling is scheduled for a news conference via teleconference. Among those slated to speak is Angela Smith Jones, public policy director of the Indy Chamber.
Jones said she was first approached in late 2011 or early 2012 to become involved in the coalition of law enforcement, business representatives and faith-based organizations.
The multistate group began to form after a “wave” of anti-immigration measures were passed in several states, she said.
Lake County (Ill.) Sheriff Mark Curran, who has gained national attention for his advocacy on the issue, has at least one specific demand:
“All I can say is: Speaker Boehner, you’re killin’ us. Call the bill.”
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has yet to call for a vote on a limited immigration reform bill, although discussions have been going on this week.
Read more:

WASHINGTON POST: The other side of deportation: An American struggles to prepare for life without husband
By Eli Saslow
May 25, 2014
Lawrence, Kan. — Each ordinary moment now seemed worthy of preservation, so Madina Salaty, 45, turned on her cellphone camera and hit record. “Four days left,” she said, her voice and the video both shaky as her husband leashed the dog and headed toward their front door. He walked past the framed picture of their wedding in 2011, past the University of Kansas flag on their porch, past the perennials they had planted together in the garden. He led the dog onto the wide sidewalks and manicured lawns of downtown Lawrence, where the lampposts were painted red, white and blue.
“We are going on a walk,” Salaty said, narrating the video, focusing the camera on her husband, Zunu Zunaid, 37. He turned back to her and smiled.
“Hi, baby,” he said.
“Hi, baby,” she said.
For the past five months, she had been documenting the gradual unraveling of their lives, in moments both mundane and monumental: the first visit to their home by immigration officers, the delivery of Zunaid’s deportation orders, his final trips to eat American ice cream and watch American basketball. Now only four days remained before he would be sent off to Bangladesh, a deportation that would upend not just one life but two. Zunaid would be forcibly separated from the United States after 20 years; his wife, an American citizen, would be forcibly separated from her husband.
Read more:

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