National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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The Week Ahead: July 22-26

July 22, 2013 - Posted by Communications Intern

“With the strong support of their constituents, Mr. Goodlatte and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle must transcend politics as usual and move forward with immigration reform that celebrates biblical values and American values alike. This means respect for the rule of law, secure borders and for those who seek it, the opportunity to right past wrongs and contribute to our country in the only full way possible: as citizens.”
— Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and chief counsel for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in a July 22 Washington Times op-ed


Wednesday: Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action to Highlight Support for House Action
The Evangelical Immigration Table is planning a Day of Prayer and Action in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to stress the urgency of congressional action on immigration reform. As part of the Pray for Reform campaign, hundreds of evangelicals and evangelical leaders are coming to Washington to urge their members of Congress to take action on broad, bipartisan immigration solutions.

The day will begin with a press conference on the West Lawn of the Capitol, followed by a prayer service and meetings with more than 60 congressional offices during which national and local evangelical leaders will discuss commonsense reform that reflects the Evangelical Immigration Table’s principles. Participants also will reiterate the importance of reform that creates a path out of the shadows for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants across the country.

These leaders are encouraging their Congress to follow through and enact immigration reform that respects the rule of law as well as the God-given dignity of every person, and they are showing support for all members of Congress who show the courage to move the conversation forward. The Day of Prayer and Action reflects the growing support for commonsense immigration reform in the evangelical community, and it is part of a push for reform that will continue in the coming weeks.

Bibles, Badges and Business Leaders Meet with Congressional Leaders
Also this week, leaders from the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform (BBB) network will meet with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. On Tuesday, Galen Carey of the National Association Evangelicals; Steven Lenkart, a law enforcement expert; and Craig Regelbrugge of the American Nursery and Landscape Association are expected to meet with the House Democratic caucus. This meeting comes just after leaders in the faith, law enforcement and business communities sat down with House Republican leadership last week to discuss a path forward on immigration reform.

House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Undocumented Immigrants Brought Here as Kids
The Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday on “Addressing the Immigration Status of Illegal Immigrants Brought to the United States as Children.” The hearing will have two witness panels. The first will feature four Congressmen: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-California), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois).

The second panel will feature Dr. Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research at the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Margie McHugh, Co-director of the Migration Policy Institute; Pamela Rivera, the U.S. citizen sister of a DREAMer; and Rosa Velazquez, Executive Director of the Arkansas Coalition for 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:

MUST READ: THE ATLANTIC: Is Immigration Reform Dead? Not If Evangelicals Can Do Anything About It
By Michael Wear
July 18, 2013
The path to immigration reform has been long and divisive, and it is difficult to see the finish line even now. Despite passing the Senate with 68 votes, reform is now tied up in a House. Speaker John Boehner says he won't pass a bill without a majority of the Republican caucus, and he says the chamber will write its own bill rather than take up the Senate's. Even if that is successful, the bills will have to be reconciled in conference. In short, it's a hard slog ahead, with no quick finish in sight.
For evangelical Christians, this type of drawn-out, hard-fought legislative battle is nothing new. But for a diverse coalition of evangelical leaders and congregants, it is new to be aligned with Democrats, and prodding Republicans to do what they believe is the right -- and moral -- thing. The reform camp is relying on evangelicals to help pressure the right into agreeing to changes, and leadership of the Evangelical Immigration Table -- a group that is organizing evangelicals who support immigration reform -- will meet with House Republican leadership on July 24 to state their case, according to the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference "Evangelicals have the opportunity to be the conscience of the nation," Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas told me.
Based on interviews with evangelical leaders, political strategists, and policymakers, this is an inside look at how the evangelical movement became a major backer of immigration reform, how it turned traditional political allegiances on their head, and what the future holds.
Read more:

GREENVILLE NEWS (South Carolina) (Casey and Goodroe Op-Ed): Show courage on immigration
By Jim Goodroe and Anthony Casey
July 22, 2013
As evangelicals, we believe the Senate’s recent passage of broad, bipartisan immigration reform is a key step toward a new immigration process based on biblical principles. We commend Sen. Lindsey Graham for his leadership on this issue — and we encourage all members of Congress, in both parties, to show similar courage.
Immigration is often debated in this country in terms of political or economic terms. But for us, immigration is a deeply personal and moral issue that requires a response informed by biblical values.
Why do we as evangelical leaders care about immigration? Because immigrants in our communities are not strangers. Rather, they have become a part of our church families.
They are no longer a category of their own: They are us and we are them because of the unity we share in Christ. Our churches have come to sincerely value the immigrant as an integral part of our fellowship, and it’s clear in the Bible that we must show compassion for them and treat them with dignity and respect.
As we have come to know these individuals, we have realized that the immigration laws in our country are broken and have led to broken people and communities. Undocumented immigrants, especially, often go through tremendous challenges on a daily basis because they fear being deported, leaving their jobs and families behind.
Read more:

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