National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: November 25-29

November 26, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“I’m hopeful we can make progress on this very important issue [of immigration reform] … Congress needs to deal with this issue. Our committees are continuing to do their work. There are a lot of private conversations that are underway to try to figure out: How do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue?”

— House Speaker John Boehner (OH-08), in comments Nov. 21 at his weekly press conference


Local, D.C. Events Recognize and Give Thanks for the Role of Immigrants in America:
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, evangelical Christians are gathering in California and Colorado for “Come to the Table” events to break bread, pray and discuss the Christian response to immigration. Come to the Table events scheduled throughout November and December are the latest effort in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s ongoing Pray for Reform campaign.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Western Michigan Bibles, Badges and Business leaders are hosting a roundtable event to urge congressional action on immigration. Local voices from the business and faith communities will call for the timely passage of commonsense immigration reform, with presentations by Grand Rapids Mayor George Hartwell and area businessman Bing Goei.

As the holiday season gets under way, constituents from across the country are taking time to reflect on our nation’s history of immigration, be thankful for all that immigrants contribute, and call on their members of Congress to take action on immigration reform in the 113th Congress.

Back in Washington, the Fast for Families, a call for broad immigration reform, continues into its third week. The fast’s tent on the National Mall has seen visits from Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadao in the past couple of weeks, and it includes faith leaders from across the political spectrum. The fast occurs in conjunction with events across the country, urging the House to take up immigration reform this year.

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: ARIZONA REPUBLIC (Gutierrez Op-Ed): Immigration reform can be a winning issue for Republicans
By Carlos Gutierrez
November 20, 2013
As the Republican Governors Association meets in Scottsdale this week, state GOP leaders should celebrate and reaffirm their call for broad immigration reform that will help all Americans.
Doing so would be no departure for many Republican governors, who see both the effects of our broken immigration system and a need for Congress to create a better process.
The lesson of recent elections is that immigration reform and honoring our tradition as a nation of immigrants is not just good policy but good politics. Look no further than Gov. Chris Christie’s landslide 60-38 win in November — including majority support among Hispanic voters.
“What Congress needs to do is get to work, working with each other and the president, to fix a broken system that is not serving our economy well, that is not serving our country well,” Christie said this month.
Republican members of the House of Representatives should take encouragement from Gov. Christie’s win and from recent polling that shows broad support among their supportive voters. Immigration reform is a winning issue.
You can also ask the man for whom I served, President George W. Bush. His recognition that we are a nation of immigrants and his support for immigration reform contributed strongly to his election and re-election.
Read more:

WASHINGTON TIMES (Staver Op-Ed): Is there a moral approach to immigration reform?
By Mathew Staver
November 24, 2013
I am an evangelical Christian and I am politically conservative. For some time, I have supported immigration reform.
I work with a broad coalition to fix our broken immigration laws, including the Evangelical Immigration Table. I believe that immigration reform represents an opportunity for me to live out my values and an opportunity for a victory of conservative values in public life. The importance of immigration reform is a quickly growing consensus among my peers, but I am on a mission to persuade the remaining skeptics.
Consistent with orthodox Christian teaching that finds its roots in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis, evangelicals believe that men and women are created in the image of God and worthy of dignity and respect. We believe the Bible is clear in its call for us to treat all people with respect and to care for our neighbors, including those who are the “strangers” in our midst.
The Bible admonishes the Israelite people to treat the stranger (alien or foreigner) with kindness because they were once strangers in a foreign land. Jesus says that we should treat the stranger as we would treat Jesus Himself.
Read more:

CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER (LaTourette Op-Ed): New polling suggests Republican opportunity on immigration reform
By Steve LaTourette
November 19, 2013
Congress has a lot on its plate right now -- including a long-term budget deal. However, we cannot let immigration reform get lost in the shuffle. Immigration reform is not a political issue; it is an issue of keeping our country competitive and economically stable. However, recent polling shows that with broad support for reform, elected officials will be rewarded politically if legislation is passed.
A poll released by the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), Republicans for Immigration Reform and Compete America shows strong support for meaningful immigration reform among Ohioans. Over 70 percent of voters in Ohio are supportive of substantive immigration reform legislation – including over 64 percent of independent voters. These swing voters decide elections, and the political risk of opposing something that over two-thirds of them support would be very risky.
In addition to it being politically smart to support reform, elected officials should support it because it will be good for our country. Immigration reform to allow skilled individuals to remain in the United States would provide a powerful boost to our economy. A recent study by PNAE found that for every advanced degree graduate in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math) who stays in the United States, 2.6 jobs are created for American workers.
Read more:

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