National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Blog & Updates

The Week Ahead: November 18-22

November 18, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Unfortunately, too many conservatives — though they aspire to walk in Reagan's footsteps — have forgotten that immigration reform is the most Republican of causes. We cannot support open borders for trade but not for people. We cannot support the unfettered exchange of goods and ideas while building razor-wired walls that separate children from their parents. We cannot make America stronger and more prosperous by excluding tomorrow's talent and industry.”

— Frank Keating, a former Republican governor of Oklahoma, President and Chief Executive of the American Bankers Association, in a Nov. 11 Los Angeles Times op-ed

SUMMARY

Nationwide, Support For Reform Continues to Deepen:
With immigration reform still the biggest issue before Congress, leaders from across the country are letting their legislators know that they are not letting up. This morning FWD.us released a series of ads to run this week, aimed at encouraging politicians to follow through on reform. On the heels of Chris Christie’s gubernatorial win due in part to his winning a large share of Hispanic votes, the Republican Governors Association is holding its annual meeting. Meanwhile, constituents are sending Capitol Hill the message that they will not allow this issue to fade away. Not only is the chorus of voices growing on the issue, but the depth of support is building as well.

Last week alone, faith leaders underscored their support following a meeting at the White House, an unprecedented coalition of organizations led a Digital Day of Action that resulted in more than 9,000 tweets using #Ready4Reform reaching an audience of over 130,00,000 Twitter users, and Americans for Reform hosted a press conference featuring Thomas J. Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform; Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum; Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers; Bishop John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City; and Greg Zoeller, the Attorney General of Indiana.

Several polls released last week further highlight the broad support for reform, finding that voters in key Republican districts want Congress to act on immigration solutions, and that 58 percent of Protestant pastors favor immigration reform that provides a roadmap to earned citizenship for those currently in the country.

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: LOS ANGELES TIMES (Keating Op-Ed): What would Reagan do?
By Frank Keating
November 11, 2013
Like many Republicans — what's more, like many Americans — I regard Ronald Reagan as my political hero and inspiration. For conservatives who came of age in the 1960s and '70s, President Reagan offered a principled and compassionate argument for individual freedom and an equally compelling case for personal responsibility.
In 1989, Reagan described his view of America "as a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here."
Unfortunately, too many conservatives — though they aspire to walk in Reagan's footsteps — have forgotten that immigration reform is the most Republican of causes. We cannot support open borders for trade but not for people. We cannot support the unfettered exchange of goods and ideas while building razor-wired walls that separate children from their parents. We cannot make America stronger and more prosperous by excluding tomorrow's talent and industry.
From my perspective as a Reagan Republican — indeed, as a senior official in the Reagan administration during the last major immigration reform process — I am convinced that we stand on the precipice of opportunity.
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-keating-gop-immigration-reform-20131111,0,6647862.story#axzz2kx6R4S00

DAILY BEAST: Jesus Vs. Tea Party on Immigration
By Patricia Murphy
November 13, 2013
Last week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, made an urgent request to House Speaker John Boehner on behalf of the Catholic Conference of Bishops. He asked Boehner, a Catholic, to pass stalled immigration reform legislation, calling the current immigration system “a stain on the nation’s soul.”
But on Tuesday, Boehner told reporters immigration reform isn't going anywhere fast. "We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill," Boehner said, all but guaranteeing that reform will be pushed into 2014 and the chaotic politics of the mid-term elections.
Dolan and the bishops are just one piece of an unprecedented coalition of religious leaders—from Southern Baptists to conservative Catholics to religious progressives—who have combined their efforts this year to convince Congress to pass immigration reform.
Together and on their own, they have prayed for members of the House and Senate, held press conferences, staged fasts, and button-holed representatives, both in Washington and at home in their districts, all in an effort to press what they see as the Bible's critical teachings—the country's moral obligation to accept immigrants while also respecting the rule of law.
Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/13/losing-the-faith-on-immigration.html

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER (Christensen Column): Republicans might try new approach on immigration
By Rob Christensen
November 16, 2013
Farmers such as John Barnes need Latino laborers to harvest the sweet potato crop in Nash County. High-tech entrepreneurs such as SAS’ Jim Goodnight of Cary rely on a supply of American-educated software engineers and statisticians from South Asia.
This is called supply and demand. If there were native-born Americans lined up for those jobs, they could be hired.
Similar stories could be told in the construction and hospitality industries.
All the liberal activists in the world praying and fasting on the National Mall – as they did last week – are unlikely to have much of an effect on the Republican-controlled U.S. House when it comes to changes in the immigration laws.
But businessmen, lawmen and evangelical preachers might.
“Seventy-percent of the labor force in agriculture is undocumented,” Bert Lemkes, co-owner of Van Wingerden International, a greenhouse manufacturer in Western North Carolina, said at a forum in Raleigh recently.
“Something has to be done,” Lemkes said. “The other 30 percent will lose their jobs if the other 70 percent does not show up. There is a large group in the population that does not understand that the undocumented here work hard, pay taxes, pay (into) Social Security.”
The forum was sponsored by the N.C. Farm Bureau and a group called Bibles, Badges and Business, a coalition that brings together business, law enforcement and evangelical leaders to push Republicans for changes in the immigration laws.
Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/11/16/3374636/christensen-the-gop-and-immigration.html

Crossroads Campaign Solutions