The Week Ahead: Dec. 4-8

Communications Assistant

December 4, 2017


“It is clear that in Michigan, and in our nation, the economic benefits of passing the Dream Act significantly outweigh the overwhelming cost of deportation. That is why we should pass the Dream Act and ensure Dreamers are able to remain here as productive members of our communities.”

—Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), Dec. 3


House Republicans Urge Solution This Year for Dreamers

More than two dozen House Republicans are preparing a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan urging for legislation to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the end of the year.

Organized by Reps. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia) and Dan Newhouse (R-Washington), the letter has reportedly garnered more than 20 signatories and could reach 30 by the time it is sent, which is expected to be sometime this week.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) stressed that the letter is not meant as an ultimatum to Speaker Ryan but is a way for Republican signatories “to show their strong support for solving the DACA issue and that we believe the House should address it now, rather than later.”

In addition, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nevada) became the second House Republican to support a discharge petition to force a floor vote on the DREAM Act. The discharge petition, which has 196 signatures, would need a majority of the House membership, meaning 218 signatures, to be considered.

The letter and petition coincide with meetings that faith, law enforcement and business leaders are holding with Republican congressional offices to advocate for Dreamers and for a solution this year.

Verdict Reached in Steinle Case

Last week a jury in San Francisco acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant, on the charges of murder and manslaughter for the killing of Kathryn Steinle on July 1, 2015. The case has become a rallying point for immigration hardliners, and the verdict was condemned by President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But the case is not representative. Both undocumented and documented immigrants commit fewer violent crimes than U.S.-born citizens, and border security has improved drastically in recent years. Furthermore, the jury last week was determining only whether the shooting was accidental, which they were persuaded it was — not whether Garcia Zarate had committed immigration offenses. Separately, the federal government is now moving to deport Garcia Zarate.

Republicans Propose Two-Week Spending Measure

Republican leaders in Congress proposed a continuing resolution Saturday morning that would give Republicans two more weeks to negotiate a longer-term deal by extending the deadline for funding from Dec. 8 to Dec. 22.

The continuing resolution would give Congress more time to finish work on tax reform legislation and reach an agreement on a spending bill, which Democrats in Congress have refused to commit to without protections for Dreamers. On Nov. 28, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida) became the first Republican in Congress to announce that he would not vote for a spending bill without voting on legislation to protect Dreamers before the end of the year.

House members reportedly will vote on the short-term spending measure as early as Wednesday.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


THE HILL (Ma and De Peña Op-ed): Congress must allow time to implement a solution for Dreamers
By Jacinta Ma and Kristie De Peña
Nov. 28, 2017

If and when Congress agrees on a solution for Dreamers, it will not be like flipping a switch.
That’s why legislators should be thinking in terms of an end-of-2017 deadline — not March 5 of next year, the final sunset of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
A significant number of young people are already at risk (including some because of a post office error), and that number will begin to increase sharply next year. Roughly 1,000 additional young people, or Dreamers, will lose the ability to work legally and will be at risk for deportation every day.

Read more:

BAPTIST PRESS: Time ticking to protect Dreamers, Baptists tell media
By Tom Strode
Dec. 1, 2017

WASHINGTON (BP) — Two Southern Baptist leaders urged Congress Nov. 29 to act soon to provide a long-term remedy for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Walter Strickland, first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Travis Wussow, a Southern Baptist public policy specialist, in a telephone news conference called for a legislative solution as the deadline for action nears. The Trump administration announced Sept. 5 it would end a program that has given about 800,000 people relief from deportation but also instituted a six-month delay for Congress to act.

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THE WASHINGTON POST (Editorial): Trump’s crusade against immigrants is an attack on America
Dec. 3, 2017

THE TRUMP administration likes to justify its multi-front crusade against immigration and immigrants as a revival of the rule of law, or a recalibration of the rules to favor disadvantaged American workers. In fact, it is largely a resurrection of xenophobia that coincides with a spike, nearly 50 years in the making, in the number of foreign-born residents living in the United States.
“For decades,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech in October, “the American people have been begging and pleading . . . for an immigration system that’s lawful and serves the national interest. Now we have a president who supports that.”

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TETON VALLEY NEWS: Church leads compassionate conversation on immigration
By Julia Tellman
Nov. 22, 2017

Church in the Tetons is holding a forum on immigration in an effort to educate the greater community about the stress and struggles of living in the country as an undocumented immigrant.
The forum is based on the idea of radical neighboring. Pastor Karlin Bilcher said that the point of radical neighboring is to reach out to people in the community, to listen, and to be open.
“The reality is that most of us, regardless of our perspective, have very strong yet ill-informed opinions, yet we don’t really share any meaningful conversations with actual immigrants,” Bilcher said. “It is time to educate ourselves on the realities of immigration, to engage with our neighbors, and to be useful.”

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