National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Blog & Updates

The Week Ahead: September 9-13

September 09, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“We know that the current legal immigration system is broken and should be fixed in a deliberate and responsible manner. That is why the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have produced a number of specific bills which the House may begin considering this fall.”

— House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a memo to House Republican colleagues outlining the legislative agenda for fall 2013, September 6


Chertoff to Speak in Raleigh; Members of Congress Return to D.C. with Clear Support for Reformn
As members of Congress return to Washington following the summer recess, they continue to hear from their constituents that immigration reform is imperative. At 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C., former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force, will join Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform and the North Carolina Farm Bureau to discuss the current immigration reform debate.

With his experience in a post within the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Chertoff brings a unique perspective and a compelling argument to the case for immigration reform. His comments will be followed by a roundtable of local faith and business leaders. To register or receive livestream information for the event, click .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The event follows an outstanding August for Bibles, Badges and Business leaders, who convened 40 Roundtables for Reform in key congressional districts, held statewide telephonic press conferences in five critical states and recruited conservative leaders to attend at least 65 town halls. This work generated hundreds of news hits, mostly in local media, and garnered more than 1,000 visits to their dedicated recess website (, as well as strong momentum on social media.

Press Conference to Honor New Americans This Citizenship Day:
Next Tuesday, Sept. 17, aspiring Americans, immigration advocates and business leaders, all a part of the New Americans Campaign, will gather at the Hyatt Regency Washington to celebrate National Citizenship Day with a press conference on the clear connection between citizenship and prosperity for new immigrants, their communities and the nation’s economy.

The event, one of several dozen planned nationwide for National Citizenship Day by the New Americans Campaign, will highlight how businesses are leading the effort to integrate eligible immigrants through programs such as the Bethlehem Project. This innovative program works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process, through the assistance of local service providers.

Later in the day, the Bethlehem Project, Hyatt Regency Washington and the International Rescue Committee – Silver Spring will offer the first step in the citizenship process to Hyatt’s eligible employees. Over the next few months, this partnership will continue to offer additional services to these employees as they seek to become citizens and fulfill their American dream.

CALENDAR: Please visit our Events page to find this week's immigration-related events.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:

WASHINGTON POST (Editorial): Immigration reform hits a GOP hurdle
By Editorial Board
September 8, 2013
THOSE SEEKING a standard-bearer for the do-nothing Congress need look no farther than Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican. When it comes to delay, denial and delusion, Mr. Goodlatte is an exemplar.
Mr. Goodlatte is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which handles measures to overhaul the nation’s badly broken immigration system. The Senate, with support from Democrats and some Republicans, approved broad immigration legislation in June. But Mr. Goodlatte and his Republican colleagues have declared it dead on arrival in the GOP-led House — even though it would likely have the votes for passage if it were allowed on the floor for a vote.
Instead, Mr. Goodlatte’s panel has passed a handful of piecemeal immigration bills, all of which avoid the main issue, which is what to do about the 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. Those bills passed without Democratic support and stand no chance of success on the House floor, where some Republican lawmakers are wary of voting for any immigration bill, no matter how narrow, for fear it could become a vehicle for compromise (gasp!) with the Senate.
All this is fine with Mr. Goodlatte, who told the Wall Street Journal that it’s okay to simply debate the immigration mess without doing anything to fix it.
“We pass bills all the time that don’t get passed all the way through and signed into law, because we want to spell out to the American people what we think the right solutions to our problems are,” he said. “I don’t believe immigration reform should be any different than that.”
Read more:

FOX NEWS LATINO (Fitz Op-Ed): Immigration Reform’s Demise? Greatly Exaggerated
By Marshall Fitz
September 6, 2013
Here’s a prediction you don’t often hear from inside the beltway: Immigration reform that strengthens border security, grows the economy, and gives 11 million undocumented immigrants an eventual shot at citizenship will be signed into law within the next few months. That is most definitely not the prevailing view of political reporters who seem hell-bent on writing the obituary for immigration reform.
Naming the next reason Congress won’t pass commonsense immigration legislation has become a D.C. parlor game. But the game is getting old because it should be obvious to all that if immigration reform crashes, there will be one and only one reason: a failure of leadership by House Republicans.
The naysayers – pundits and press - first asserted that President Obama only wanted to use immigration as a political cudgel; but the administration gave the Senate space to maneuver legislatively while supporting the process and keeping the urgency high. Then the narrative shifted to why cost concerns would kill the legislative effort; but the Congressional Budget Office concluded that reform would lower the deficit by $820 billion over the next 20 years. Cynics then maintained that a divided Senate could not reach 60 votes on anything controversial; but the bill passed with 68 Ayes. More recently the rationale portending defeat was that a nativist grassroots uprising over summer recess would scare Congress to inaction; but pro-reform forces out-hustled, out-muscled, and out-classed restrictionist opponents in August – it wasn’t even close.
Read more:
Marshall Fitz is Director of Immigration Policy at American Progress where he directs the Center’s research and analysis of economic, political, legal, and social impacts of immigration policy in America.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (Dolan Op-Ed): Immigration reform: A moral imperative
By Cardinal Timothy Dolan
September 6, 2013
As Congress comes back into session, it has a once-in-a-generation chance to fix our broken immigration system.
We cannot let this opportunity pass. Immigration reform would help families, it would help our economy and it would improve our security. Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
Pope Francis recently reminded us that “the measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need.” For generations, men and women have come to America’s shores in search of a better life for themselves and their families, and we’re justly proud of our heritage as a nation that welcomes people of good will.
But today, no one can be proud of the enormous underclass of undocumented workers that’s been allowed to form — millions of our neighbors who live on the margins, have their families fractured and are easily exploited.
We can’t be proud of the hundreds of migrants who die in the American desert each year in their quest to support their families back home.
We can’t be indifferent to these profound humanitarian problems. No wonder that, around the country, Catholics and citizens of other creeds are on the front lines in providing a compassionate response, as they were with Rev. Martin Luther King a half-century ago.
Read more:
Dolan is archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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