The Week Ahead: Oct. 19-23

Communications Associate

October 19, 2015


“The United States was built by immigrants. Immigrants have always made this country special with their hard work, energy and creativity, and everyone who helps immigrants succeed helps this country succeed.”
– Diane Portnoy, Founder and CEO of The Immigrant Learning Center and Keepers of the American Dream honoree, Oct. 14


Senate to Vote on ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Bill
Senate Republican leadership has scheduled the first procedural vote on the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act” (S. 2146) for Tuesday.

The bill, which targets so-called sanctuary cities by withholding certain federal grants to states and localities that limit their participation in federal immigration enforcement initiatives, also would impose lengthy mandatory-minimum prison sentences on certain repeat immigration offenders, among other things. Senate Democrats are likely to block it from moving forward.

In recent months, legislative proposals aimed at cracking down on “sanctuary” jurisdictions have faced criticism from law enforcement leaders, mayors and legal experts. Across the country, leaders are calling for broad immigration reform that helps law enforcement keep everyone in our communities safe.

New Report to Highlight Immigration’s Role in Filling Skills Gap
On Friday, the American Action Forum will release a new report on the importance of immigrants in filling skills gaps. The new findings show that by 2020, the United States and Silicon Valley will face a shortage of private-sector workers across different skill levels without changes to our broken immigration system.

The National Immigration Forum and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation are also participating in the event, which will include a presentation of the findings and a discussion by business, education and workforce leaders to outline potential solutions.

All times Eastern unless noted.

Monday, October 19
• 8 a.m. World Relief is offering a 40-hour intensive immigration law training through Friday. To register, click here. Christ Fellowship of Elizabeth, 1121 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, N.J.

Tuesday, October 20
• 2:15 p.m. On the Senate floor, the first procedural vote will take place on the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act,” sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana).

Wednesday, October 21
• 9 a.m. The Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing, “Ongoing Migration from Central America: An Examination of FY2015 Apprehensions.” 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, October 22
• 9 a.m. The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild is holding its annual meeting. To register, click here. Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA.
• 11:30 a.m. The CAIR Coalition will be holding an introduction to immigration pro bono for new associates. Click here to register. O’Melveny & Myers LLP, 1625 I Street, NW Washington, D.C.
• 12 p.m. PDT. Kilns College will be screening The Stranger. Click here to RSVP. 550 SW Industrial Way, Bend, OR.
• 6:30 p.m. New York University will be holding a debate that includes a focus on prejudice in immigration policies in the U.S. and Europe. New York University, Lipton Hall, 108 West Third Street, New York, N.Y. RSVP via email.

Friday, October 23
• 10 a.m. CDT. The Chinese Community Center in Houston is holding a Citizenship Information Fair. For more information contact Aly Arnold, 713-271-6100 ext. 203. Chinese Community Center, 9800 Town Park Drive, Houston.
• 1:30 p.m. PDT. The American Action Forum will present new research findings on the future shortage of private-sector workers across different skill levels under our current immigration system. Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300, Mountain View, CA.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


CHRISTIAN POST (Castellanos and Salvatierra Op-Ed): Congress: Sanctuary Cities Are Biblical, Don’t Scapegoat Them
By Noel Castellanos and Alexia Salvatierra
October 19, 2015
This week the Senate will vote on a bill that targets “sanctuary cities.” Apart from the political calculations that underlie this vote, it is in part a response to the shooting death of Kate Steinle this summer in San Francisco.
Our hearts grieve deeply with Steinle’s family. As parents of daughters, we cannot fathom the tragic loss her family is suffering.
As local and national advocates for immigrants and immigration, we want to extend our sympathies. But as Congress returns this week, we also want to speak on behalf of the Sanctuary movement, which has been scapegoated unfairly.
As Christian leaders it is important to share that the Sanctuary movement gets its roots from principles derived from the Bible, specifically in Numbers 35, which speaks to Cities of Refuge. The Cities of Refuge were God’s response to the tragic fallibility of human law and justice in a fallen world. Over the centuries, the concept of Cities of Refuge has been utilized to respond to the predicament of a variety of people who could not get a fair hearing and appropriate punishment.
Whether in the case of slaves using the Underground Railroad or individual issues during other particular times of crisis, people facing cruel and unusual punishment have been protected by the doctrine of “Sanctuary,” developed from the concept of the Cities of Refuge.
Read more:
Noel Castellanos is the CEO and president of the Christian Community Development Association. Rev. Alexia Salvatierra coordinates the Welcoming Congregations/Guardian Angels Network for the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

NEW YORK TIMES (Editorial): The Great ‘Sanctuary City’ Slander
October 16, 2015
Lawmakers in Washington and around the country are in an uproar over what they derisively call “sanctuary cities.” These are jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, or try in other ways to protect unauthorized immigrants from unjust deportation.
The Senate is voting Tuesday on a bill from David Vitter of Louisiana to punish these cities by denying them federal law-enforcement funds. The House passed its version in July. North Carolina’s Legislature has passed a bill forbidding sanctuary policies. Lawmakers in Michigan and Texas are seeking similar laws.
These laws are a false fix for a concocted problem. They are based on the lie, now infecting the Republican presidential campaign, that all unauthorized immigrants are dangerous criminals who must be subdued by extraordinary means.
The laws are a class-action slander against an immigrant population that has been scapegoated for the crimes of a few, and left stranded by the failure of legislative reform that would open a path for them to live fully within the law. And because crackdowns on sanctuary cities seek to thwart sound law-enforcement policies and the integration of immigrants, they are an invitation to more crime and mayhem, not less.
Read more:

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: The Immigrants It Once Shut Out Bring New Life To Pennsylvania Town
By Eleanor Klibanoff
October 14, 2015
Hazleton, Pa., was just another struggling coal city until a wave of Latino immigrants came to town in 2006. It was a dark time: A wave of violent crime swept across the city. People were afraid to walk around downtown.
Some of those crimes were committed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, leading to an unprecedented crackdown on the Latino community. Then-Mayor Lou Barletta tried to bar the door.
“We want people to know that Hazleton is probably the strictest city in the United States for illegal aliens,” he said at the time.
Hazleton was determined to uproot the Latino community that was taking hold. But nearly a decade later, it’s pretty clear that those efforts were in vain.
Joseph Yannuzzi, Hazleton’s current mayor, was the City Council president in 2006.
“The Latino community right now is the driving force behind a lot of the new businesses that are being opened up.”
Neal DeAngelo, Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress
“You had to be there, to live in this community where I never locked my doors, and all of a sudden you’re looking cross-eyed at people, because it’s legal, illegal, you don’t know that,” he says.
The city enacted a local ordinance that prohibited anyone from selling to, renting to or employing someone here illegally, and it imposed fines of up to $1,000 a day for those who did. (The law was later found to be unconstitutional.)
Read more: