National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: October 28 - November 1

October 28, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“I believe the issue [of immigration reform] will come to the floor and I support bringing it to the floor … I want to deal with this issue in the right way. In a way that will honor God, honor humanity, and honor America, and keep the cause of freedom as much alive in this world as it can be.”

— Republican Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08)


Conservatives Bring National Consensus on Immigration Reform to the Capitol:
Over 600 leaders from more than 100 congressional districts around the country are coming to Washington, D.C., tomorrow for “Americans for Reform: Immigration Reform for our Economy, Faith and Security.” The “fly-in” is 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.

At tomorrow’s breakfast panel discussion, open to press, conservative faith, business and law enforcement leaders from across the country will speak to the moral, economic and security imperatives for immigration reform. Tuesday morning panels will be live streamed here.

After the morning event at the U.S. Chamber, these conservative voices are bringing their unified message to the halls of Congress as they meet with their legislators on Capitol Hill. The message they are sending is clear: The House must move forward on broad, bipartisan immigration reform.

Keepers of the American Dream Awards to Celebrate Immigrant Achievement:
On Wednesday, the National Immigration Forum will host the Keepers of the American Dream Awards, which recognize and celebrate distinguished individuals, foundations and corporations that have demonstrated real leadership on behalf of immigrants.

This 13th annual event celebrates people who embody the spirit of immigrant achievement and the American Dream, who contribute significantly to the well-being of immigrants in America, and who enhance our appreciation of immigrants and the immigrant tradition. Honorees this year include Cesar Alvarez, Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig; José Andrés, Award-winning Chef and Restaurateur; Ralph and Cheryl Broetje, Co-founders of Vista Hermosa Foundation; and Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), receiving on behalf of SEIU’s leaders & members.

For more information, please visit

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:NEW YORK TIMES: Immigration Poses Threat of Another Republican Rift
October 25, 2013
WASHINGTON — A push to bring immigration legislation to the House floor, led by an unusual coalition of business executives, prominent conservatives and evangelical leaders, threatens to create another schism in the Republican Party and could have a noticeable effect on campaign contributions before the midterm elections.
Several Republican executives and donors who are part of a lobbying blitz coming to Capitol Hill next week said they were considering withholding, or had already decided to withhold, future financial support to Republican lawmakers they believe are obstructing progress on immigration.
“I respect people’s views and concerns about the fact that we have a situation in the United States where we have millions of undocumented immigrants,” said Justin Sayfie, a lawyer from Florida who said he helped Mitt Romney raise more than $100,000 for his presidential campaign last year, in addition to helping other Republican candidates. “But we have what we have. This is October 2013. And the country will be better off if we fix it.”
Capitol Hill has for months been the focus of immigration advocates urging lawmakers to take up one of the four measures that have been approved by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee. What is different about next week’s lobbying effort is that it will include about 600 mostly conservative leaders in business, agriculture and religion who will focus on 80 representatives from 40 states — all of them Republican.
The effort comes just weeks after House conservatives alienated many longtime supporters, including much of corporate America, by trying to block financing for Mr. Obama’s health care law, a move widely blamed for the government shutdown. The intraparty tension that was apparent in the budget standoff could resurface in the immigration fight, though the sides may not align in exactly the same way.
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ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Franks supports citizenship, expects House vote on immigration
By Dan Nowicki & Rebekah L. Sanders
October 26, 2013
Immigration activists who camped outside U.S. Rep. Trent Franks’ house Friday hoping to talk to him said their optimism that Congress will act on sweeping reforms was renewed after a rare encounter with the Republican congressman.
Over a 25-minute conversation and a group prayer with Franks, the congressman indicated he could support a path to citizenship — though he did not go into specifics — and said that he expects a vote on immigration legislation in the House.
Franks’ office did not immediately return a request Saturday for more information.
The Promise Arizona activists set up a prayer vigil outside Franks’ Peoria home, as well as a mock dinner table with an empty chair to symbolize a deported family member. Both actions were meant to call on Franks’ Christian faith and advocacy on family issues.
Activists believe there is enough bipartisan support in the House to pass immigration reform, but that a segment of Republicans that are in opposition are keeping House Speaker John Boehner from holding a vote. Activists are trying to increase pressure on the GOP to act, even as only 19 congressional working days remain before the end of the year.
Among the thorniest issues is whether to open a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants. Some Republicans oppose the idea completely, while others say they might support it but with more restrictions than Democrats are proposing. Though Franks sits on the Judiciary Committee in charge of developing much of the immigration legislation, he has weighed in on the issue very little.
Flanked by his wife and 5-year-old twins, Franks told the activists he could support citizenship for current illegal immigrants.
“I’m one of those that does not believe that people having been in this country… illegally now should be barred from that path to citizenship because we have not enforced the law,” he said, according to activists who recorded the conversation. “At the same time, I don’t want to do something that creates a special path to citizenship that creates an incentive for more people to come illegally.”
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