National Immigration Forum

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The Week Ahead: September 16-20

September 16, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“You’ve got examples in this community about needs in the evangelical community, among undocumented workers, high-tech industries desperate for employees as well as agriculture in the surrounding area. The issue is hot right now. The time is now. This is it.”

— Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business, in an editorial board meeting with the Waco Tribune


Citizenship Day Events this Week Honor Contributions of New Americans:
Tomorrow, aspiring Americans, immigration advocates and business leaders with the New Americans Campaign will gather at the Hyatt Regency Washington to celebrate Citizenship Day. The day will start with a 10 a.m. press conference on the connection between citizenship and economic prosperity for new immigrants, their communities and the nation.

The press conference will highlight how businesses are leading the effort to integrate eligible immigrants through programs such as the Bethlehem Project, which works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees. Later in the day, the Bethlehem Project, Hyatt Regency Washington and the International Rescue Committee – Silver Spring will offer two citizenship sessions with as many as 129 immigrant employees eligible for citizenship.

Meanwhile in Coral Gables, Fla., Baptist Health South Florida, also a Bethlehem Project partner, is celebrating Citizenship Day by hosting two separate citizenship sessions for their immigrant employees who are eligible for naturalization.

Back in Washington on Wednesday, the House of Representatives will dedicate an hour of floor time for a discussion on citizenship and the important contributions of immigrants, past and present, to our nation’s economy and society. The Partnership for a New American Economy and Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) also released a timely report last week, highlighting how immigration helps revitalize communities across the country through the creation and preservation of jobs and the increase in housing wealth and home equity.

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: COMMERCIAL APPEAL (Memphis, Tenn.) (Op-Ed): Alberto Gonzales: Time for action on immigration reform
By Alberto R. Gonzales
September 11, 2013
It is time for the U.S. House to take action to improve our inadequate immigration system.
An immigration system that ignores millions who are here in this country unlawfully is unfair to those who follow the rules.
Today’s immigration system turns away the talented workers, entrepreneurs and farm workers we need to help grow our economy.
And, by not securing our borders, it puts America at even greater risk at a most dangerous time in the world.
I joined with leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Associated Builders and Contractors trade association, the faith community and several others on Aug. 28 for a roundtable discussion of this issue at the First Amendment Center in Nashville.
It was clear from our discussion that we share the belief that it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to ensure that our laws keep us safe and help keep our economy growing. But to do that, we need meaningful reforms to:
Secure our borders and ensure a level playing field for American workers.
Provide a legal process for large companies and small businesses to hire the workers they need while weeding out the workers who are here illegally.
Read more:
Alberto R. Gonzales is an attorney with the Waller law firm in Nashville and a former United States attorney general. He also holds the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law at Belmont University.

WACO TRIBUNE: Evangelicals, business leaders pushing immigration reform hard: Q&A with Bibles, Badges & Business
September 15, 2013
Local and statewide members of the group Bibles, Badges & Business for Immigration Reform, a national network of faith, law enforcement and business leaders working together to educate and support members of Congress as they consider reforms to our badly flawed immigration system, spent a lively hour with the Tribune-Herald editorial board recently. Among other things, they explained growing pressure by the evangelical movement to exact reforms based on Scripture and Christian tenets as well as common sense; how federal lawmakers’ solution of pumping more money into border patrol instead of staffing ports of entry is wrong-headed; and how immigration reform may falter for years if not passed in Congress this fall.
Meeting with the Trib: Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business; the Rev. Tim Moore, lead pastor of Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Round Rock, and legislative liaison to the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention; McAllen-based Monica Weisberg-Stewart, chairwoman of the Texas Border Coalition’s Immigration and Border Security Committee; Patricia Wilson of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas and Waco’s Seventh & James Baptist Church; the Rev. Ramiro Pena, senior pastor of Christ the King Baptist Church, Waco; Kent McKeever of Mission Waco Legal Services; Nick Haynes of Antioch Community Church, Waco; the Rev. Jim Coston, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Waco; and Craig Nash, community pastor at University Baptist Church, Waco.
Read more:

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