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The Week Ahead November 4-8

November 04, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“I do see [evangelical immigration reform efforts] making a difference. I absolutely do … It’s not about self-interest. We have a lot of different groups that lobby us on business interests and how it affects their pocketbooks. (With pastors) this is about their faith and their beliefs … We’re going to get (immigration reform) done this year, and it’s because of the faith-based community … It’s a huge, significant push. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Republican Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-10), Nov. 1


National Fly-In Push Moves the Dial Toward Reform:
More than 600 leaders met with more than 180 members of Congress and their staffs in Washington, D.C., last week during “Americans for Reform: Immigration Reform for our Economy, Faith and Security.” The fly-in, co-hosted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has generated buzz across the country and throughout the halls of Congress. The event has generated 759 media hits and counting, and members of Congress are taking note of the chorus of conservative voices who favor immigration reform.

In the past week, three Republican members have signed on to H.R. 15, a broad immigration bill in the House, as co-sponsors: Congressman David Valadao (CA-24); Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (FL-27); and Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10). Meanwhile, in-district #Ready4Reform efforts continue nationwide with Bibles, Badges and Business and the Evangelical Immigration Table hosting events this week in Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

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:ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: O.C. pastors lobby GOP friends on touchy issue
By Jim Hinch
November 1, 2013
For the pastors in the Capitol, the meeting with the congressman was an answer to their prayers.
Last week, nine evangelical Christians from Orange County—six of them pastors—gathered in a circle to pray in the hall outside the Washington, D.C. office of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton.
The Christians were there to encourage Royce and other Orange County congressmen to support comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that this year has become a cause célèbre for some evangelicals and other faith-based groups.
Earlier that day, the group had tried to secure an appointment with Royce but had been told they’d have to settle for a meeting with staff members because the congressman was busy.
“I prayed, ‘Lord, we want to be able to shake hands with (Royce), so make that possible,” recalled Tommy Nixon, a pastor who leads a Christian community development organization in Fullerton called Solidarity Rising.
“We walk in (to the lobby in Royce’s office), and just literally (Royce) steps out and goes, ‘Hey, how’s it going,’ and shakes everyone’s hand and brought us into his office,’” Nixon said.
“Obviously, in my belief, that’s like God being good. It was very good.”
The meeting produced no immediate results. Royce remains opposed to the specific reform legislation the pastors were advocating, according to a spokeswoman.
But the pastors saw glimmers of hope anyway, both in Royce’s warm welcome and in his staff members’ subsequent reassurance that Royce understands the importance of the issue and wants Congress to act.
One conclusion was shared by all in the meeting: When evangelical Christians talk, Republican lawmakers listen. And that unique bond, reform advocates say, just might mean success for their efforts this year to resolve one of America’s most divisive political issues.
Last year, evangelical Christians made headlines when prominent church leaders announced they were backing comprehensive immigration reform, including providing a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Read more:

WASHINGTON POST (Sargent Post): Immigration reform is definitely undead
By Greg Sargent
October 30, 2013
We now have three House Republicans who have signed on to the House Dem comprehensive immigration reform bill, putting immigration reform officially back in the “undead” category.
GOP Rep. David Valadao of California is officially on board with the bipartisan proposal, according to a statement from the Congressman sent my way:
“I have been working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on the issue of immigration reform. Recently, I have focused my efforts on joining with likeminded Republicans in organizing and demonstrating to Republican Leadership broad support within the Party to address immigration reform in the House by the end of the year.
“By supporting H.R. 15 I am strengthening my message: Addressing immigration reform in the House cannot wait. I am serious about making real progress and will remain committed to doing whatever it takes to repair our broken immigration system.”
Valadao’s move is not wholly unexpected, given that he inhabits a moderate district with a lot of Latinos. But his insistence that addressing immigration reform “cannot wait” is helpful. It seems like an implicit message to the GOP leadership: We must act this year, and on this bill, if necessary.
This comes after GOP Reps. leana Ros-Lehtinen and Jeff Denham Jeff Denham did the same. Denham has said he expects “more” Republicans to ultimately sign on, and has also said that the House GOP leadership told him there will be a vote on something immigration-related by the end of the year.
It’s unclear whether there will actually be a House vote on anything involving immigration before the year runs out, and it seems very unlikely that there will be a vote on the House Dem measure, which is essentially the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, without the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment that House Dems dislike, and instead with another border security amendment House Dems like swapped in.
Read more:

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