National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Blog & Updates

The Week Ahead: October 21-25

October 21, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“I believe Christians must take seriously what scripture says about welcoming, loving and providing for the foreigner in our midst … Individuals may have different views about immigration reform or about a particular piece of legislation, but to limit our nation’s economic potential, block aspiring citizens from fully contributing to our society, separate families, deprive employers of a stable workforce, hinder law enforcement’s ability to work with immigrant communities to keep all of us safe, and force millions to live in the shadows is not Christian or biblical.”

— Mike McClenahan, senior pastor of Solana Beach (Calif.) Presbyterian Church, in an Oct. 17 op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune


Immigration Reform is Next
A Bibles, Badges and Business co-sponsored “fly-in” to Washington, D.C., next week and a powerful evangelical week of prayer underscore the unified message moderate and conservative leaders are sending to Congress: With budget and debt debates settled for the moment, now is the time to move broad, bipartisan immigration reform forward.

Already, nearly 300 leaders from more than 50 congressional districts around the country have registered to attend the Oct. 28-29 fly-in, part of BBB’s fall Ready for Reform campaign. Also hosting the event are the Partnership for a New American Economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The fly-in will feature a breakfast panel discussion, open to press, featuring nationally acclaimed conservative leaders in faith, business, law enforcement and politics, as well as meetings with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, in the latest push in the Evangelical Immigration Table’s Pray for Reform campaign, members of the evangelical community have gathered at more than 400 prayer events and gatherings in 40 states in the past two weeks as part of “Pray4Reform: Gathered Together in Jesus’ Name.” From Florida to Michigan to Colorado and beyond, local evangelical Christians gathered to pray for immigrants, for Congress and for immigration reform rooted in biblical values. In addition, today the Evangelical Immigration Table sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives, commending their work on immigration so far and urging reform that includes the opportunity for aspiring Americans to earn citizenship.

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 WATCH: Central Fla. evangelicals pray for immigration reform
October 18, 2013

MUST READ: POLITICO: Immigration reform groups resume fight
October 21, 2013
With the brutal fiscal fight now in Capitol Hill’s rearview mirror, immigration reform advocates from across the spectrum are ramping up the pressure on lawmakers to pass a far-reaching overhaul this year.
The more aggressive wing of the immigration reform community is launching a “week of escalation” that will target the top three House GOP leaders and roughly two dozen other Republican lawmakers. Their goal is a vote on immigration reform this year. And the Evangelical Immigration Table is releasing a letter Monday signed by top faith leaders — a missive that comes amid a nationwide prayer blitz for reform.
There’s a glimmer of hope that the House will pass immigration reform this year, but after the shutdown’s end, it’s faint at best. Although the Senate passed comprehensive reform in June, most House Republicans remain highly skeptical of such sweeping overhauls, and there’s no indication that chamber will move its own package of reform bills anytime soon.
Nonetheless, advocates are resuming the fight.
“The dynamics on this are very different than what we saw on the fiscal issue,” said Ali Noorani, who leads the pro-reform National Immigration Forum. “We’re seeing this groundswell of support for reform from the right; … we don’t see that groundswell from both sides of the spectrum on any other issue.”
Read more:

MUST READ:SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE (McClenahan Op-Ed): Broken immigration system brings real, personal problem
By Mike McClenahan
October 17, 2013
I have become an accidental advocate for immigration reform. As senior pastor at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, I lead a congregation that has dedicated itself to building relationships with our immigrant neighbors through tutoring, a college-prep program, adult and preschool literacy, as well as worshipping and serving together in the community and around the world.
Because of those relationships, the problems that result from our broken immigration system are not hypothetical but very personal. In the church we live in covenant relationships. When a child is baptized we commit to helping parents raise their children. Therefore, children living in fear of their parents’ deportation are not “their” children but “our” children.
As Christians with strong family values we inherently understand the importance of keeping families together and we see the urgent need for immigration laws that promote this family unity. Members of our church have formed the North County Immigration and Citizenship Center to help children and adults living in fear and stuck in a broken immigration process.
Lasting and comprehensive immigration reform rooted in biblical values will give these children — many of whom are citizens — the chance to leave fear behind and contribute to our society with all of their God-given potential. I’ve been inspired by the stories of dozens of first-generation Hispanic college students from our church attending four-year schools across the country, preparing to make a difference and serve our community.
Read more:
McClenahan is the senior pastor of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

Crossroads Campaign Solutions