The Week Ahead: Dec. 18-22

Communications Associate

December 18, 2017

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“It is important to remember that the Dreamers did not put themselves into the situation that they find themselves in today. That happened because of the actions of others and because we have a set of laws that really does not fit their situation very well, so we in Congress need to address that. … About 80 percent of the folks in my district think that Dreamers should have a path to legal status, and over 50 percent think they ought to have a path to citizenship, and that is where I am as well. I am putting my rhetoric to work in this regard.”

— Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Dec. 12

SUMMARY

Congress Faces End-of-Week Deadline on Government Funding, Dreamer Legislation

With the current continuing resolution to fund the federal government running through Friday, Congress this week must approve a deal to fund the government for next year or face a shutdown.

As Congress negotiates, a solution for Dreamers should remain part of the discussion. Thirty-four House Republicans recently signed a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan urging a solution by year’s end. Already, thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients have lost protection from deportation as their deferred action has expired. Legislation to protect them would take seven months or more to implement.

On Thursday, the co-chairs of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force — Sheriff Margaret Mims of Fresno County, California; Chief Tom Manger of Montgomery County, Maryland; and Chief Art Acevedo of Houston — sent a letter to Congress to ask that they pass legislation to protect Dreamers.

“Our support for a legislative solution for Dreamers is consistent with our longstanding support for bipartisan reform of our immigration system,” they write. “We support measures allowing law-abiding people to feel safe and secure in their communities, which reinforce trust and cooperation with state and local law enforcement.”

They join the voices of support from the Southeast, Midwest and West last week — as well as a group of Christian Dreamers — in asking members of Congress to act swiftly on behalf of Dreamers.

Military Veterans Ask Congressional Leaders for DACA Solution

More than 50 military veterans sent a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to emphasize the urgency of legislation for Dreamers.

“We also encourage Congress to support a solution before the end of the year because it strengthens our military and national security,” they write. “DACA recipients and other Dreamer enlistees have critical skills helpful to our military. For example, DACA recipients possess language skills and cultural competencies that support our global strategic interests. They also have critical medical skills and training.”

Military veterans also spoke on a press call today about the urgency and the value Dreamers would add to our military if they could serve thanks to a legislative solution.

Texas Leaders to Urge Legislation for Dreamers

Texas leaders will speak on a press call Tuesday to urge Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo; Tim Moore, Senior Pastor of Walk Worthy Baptist Church in Austin; and Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Director of the Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities & Immigrant Affairs, will call on Congress to pass legislation before the end of the year that addresses the Dreamer population.

For more information or to join the call, contact Dan Gordon, 202-383-5996.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:

http://immigrationforum.org/blog/legislative-bulletin-friday-december-15-2017/

ONLY IN AMERICA

This week on “Only in America”, the National Immigration Forum’s weekly podcast, Executive Director Ali Noorani talks to Dr. Eduardo Padrón, the President of Miami-Dade College, about his optimism for the future of immigrants in the U.S., despite the “ugly rhetoric” currently surrounding the issue.

Subscribe here: http://immigrationforum.org/podcast/

MUST READS:

WASHINGTON POST (Cook and Koch Op-Ed): Congress must act on the ‘dreamers’
By Tim Cook and Charles Koch
Dec. 14, 2017

Tim Cook is chief executive of Apple. Charles Koch is chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries.

The holidays are upon us, and families across the United States are coming together to celebrate. Yet for about 690,000 of our neighbors, colleagues and friends, this holiday season is marked by uncertainty and fear.

These are the “dreamers” — children of undocumented immigrants who are working, in countless ways, to make the United States stronger. Unless Congress acts, this holiday season might be the last one the dreamers get to spend in the country they love and call home.

We must do better. The United States is at its best when all people are free to pursue their dreams. Our country has enjoyed unparalleled success by welcoming people from around the world who seek to make a better life for themselves and their families, no matter what their backgrounds. It is our differences that help us to learn from each other, to challenge our old ways of thinking and to discover innovative solutions that benefit us all. To advance that prosperity and build an even stronger future, each successive generation — including, today, our own — must show the courage to embrace that diversity and to do what is right.

We have no illusions about how difficult it can be to get things done in Washington, and we know that people of good faith disagree about aspects of immigration policy. If ever there were an occasion to come together to help people improve their lives, this is it. By acting now to ensure that dreamers can realize their potential by continuing to contribute to our country, Congress can reaffirm this essential American ideal.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-must-act-on-the-dreamers/2017/12/14/3dc0ab98-e053-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html

ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL (Wester Op-Ed): Immigration law should be administered fairly
By Most Reverend John C. Wester / Archbishop of Santa Fe
Dec. 11, 2017

You may be surprised by this, but Catholic teaching acknowledges the right of a sovereign country to control its borders and enforce its immigration laws. However, that does not mean the human dignity and human rights of immigrants should be violated.

Over the past 30 years, U.S. immigration policy has been characterized by an increase in enforcement measures without corresponding updates to other aspects of the legal immigration system. Immigration enforcement funding has risen dramatically, with immigration enforcement, compared with other U.S. enforcement agencies, now being the largest share of the annual budget. Moreover, enforcement policies and practices have been added to the system during this period, including the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996, which has weakened due process protections for immigrants.

Under the current administration, an executive order has made all immigrants without legal status priorities for deportation, regardless of the length of time in the country, their U.S.-citizen children, and other equities in the country.

While enforcement is an important element of any immigration system, so is fairness and justice.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1104940/immigration-law-should-be-administered-fairly.html

FOX NEWS RUNDOWN: 12/13/2017

… The latest terror attack in New York City has some lawmakers calling for an end to certain programs like the visa lottery and chain migration.  Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, Ali Noorani discusses this far-reaching topic.

Listen: https://radio.foxnews.com/2017/12/13/the-fox-news-rundown-12-13-17/