National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Drive for Immigration Reform Gathers Strength Within and Outside Washington

February 15, 2013

Texas Events Encapsulate Broad Push

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Congress prepares to move from immigration principles toward legislative action, the voices encouraging bipartisan, commonsense reform are broadening. This week, interwoven with the State of the Union address and the first Senate hearing on immigration reform, faith, law enforcement and business leaders underscored their support for reform this year.

On Monday, the new “Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform” network officially launched. The network is the result of two years of alliance-building among conservative faith, law enforcement and business leaders who have forged a new consensus that we need a better immigration process. Bibles, Badges and Business leaders from across the country already are pressing members of Congress to make immigration reform an urgent priority.

Texas provides a strong example of the changing conversation around immigration. Less than a week ago, the Associated Press noted a “Texas-sized silence” around immigration. By Wednesday, the silence was broken when the Bibles, Badges and Business Network joined the Texas Immigration Solution for a Texas Summit that emphasized the need for reform. This coming Tuesday, another group of faith, law enforcement and business leaders will come together to announce the Texas Compact, a declaration of commonsense principles to guide Texas’ immigration discussion and encourage federal action. (For details, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 202-347-0040.)

The tone of the debate is shifting in Washington, too. After President Obama spoke of immigration reform in the State of the Union, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who aspire to be fully American, Republicans praised the president’s comments. Meanwhile, polls continue to indicate that American voters, including a majority of Republicans, strongly support creating a roadmap to earned citizenship.

“There can be no question that Americans are ready for a rational, bipartisan and broad response from Congress that improves our immigration process and welcomes hardworking immigrants who want to contribute fully to our communities as citizens,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “We are glad that Congress is picking up the ball, and we expect them to follow the example of Bibles, Badges and Business across the nation and forge an immigration consensus that is good for America. The time has come to act.”

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