This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending March 29

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 Week Ending March 29

This week we’re rolling out a new feature on the blog, “This Week in Immigration Reform.” We know it can be tough, if not overwhelming, to stay on top of all the news coming out about the immigration reform debate.

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Each week, we’ll bring you all the top stories about this ongoing conversation all in one post, which you can use to stay abreast of everything happening here in D.C. and throughout the rest of the country. If you haven’t already, you should subscribe to the “Immigration” category to get this weekly feature and other immigration-related posts delivered straight to your reader. So, without further introduction, welcome to the first installment of “This Week in Immigration Reform.”

Top Lines:

  • NCLR joins other Latino organizations to announce a major grassroots mobilization of Latinos in support of immigration reform
  • NCLR affiliates in Texas, North Carolina, and Colorado make visits and calls to their members of Congress, urging them to action on reform including a pathway to citizenship
  • The Senate firmly rejects anti-immigrant amendments introduced during budget debates
  • Recent polling again confirms that a majority of the American public supports granting undocumented immigrants a way to pursue citizenship, and that an overwhelming majority of small business owners agree with the Senate Gang of Eight’s bipartisan immigration reform proposal
  • NCLR restates its strong commitment to marriage equality and to the full inclusion of same-sex bi-national couples in any immigration reform

NCLR joins other Latino organizations to announce a major grassroots mobilization of Latinos in support of immigration reform – On March 27th, our President & CEO Janet Murguía joined the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda to announce the launching of “Latinos United for Immigration Reform,” a vast grassroots campaign that will mobilize Latinos across the country in support of immigration reform that protects family unity, guarantees due process, and includes a workable roadmap to citizenship. In a joint statement, Murguía said, Restoring the rule of law by creating a path to legalization and citizenship coupled with smart, humane enforcement; preserving the rule of law by creating workable legal immigration channels; and strengthening the fabric of America by promoting the successful integration of new immigrants.” You can read the whole statement here. Visit http://www.latinosunited.org for more information on the campaign.

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NCLR affiliates in Texas, North Carolina, and Colorado make visits and calls to their members of Congress, urging them to action on reform including a pathway to citizenshipNCLR affiliate organizations across the country ramped up their efforts for action on immigration reform this week, taking advantage of their members of Congress being home during parts of the Easter Recess by organizing their communities to visit and call their senators and representatives.

In Texas, NCLR affiliates completed several in-district visits with their members of Congress during the first week of recess. NCLR affiliate South Texas Adult Resource and Training (START) Center in the Rio Grande Valley recently completed in-district visits with Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), urging the Senator to lead on immigration reform by backing reform with a roadmap to citizenship, and Rep. Hinojosa (D TX-15), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, applauding Rep. Hinojosa and the CHC for their early and sustained leadership on immigration reform. Out west, NCLR affiliate YWCA El Paso conducted in-district visits with Rep. O’Rourke (D TX-16) and Rep. Gallego (R TX-23) to express their appreciation of the Representatives’ efforts on immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship.

Over in North Carolina, the Latin American Coalition continued urging Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) to come out in support of immigration reform including a roadmap to citizenship. With LAC’s phonebanking push – involving both patch-through and direct calls to the Senators’ offices – completing its third week of operations, the Coalition is simultaneously scheduling in-district visits with the Senators during the Easter Recess.

Out in Colorado NCLR affiliate El Comité de Longmont also gathered the community in a “food bank” to share a meal and then call Senator Udall (D-CO), Senator Bennet (D-CO), and Representative Gardner (R CO-4), encouraging Senators Bennet and Udall to continue to support immigration reform including a roadmap to citizenship.

NCLR Affiliate El Comité de Longmont of Colorado gathers the community to share a meal and call their members of Congress in support of immigration reform including a roadmap to citizenship.
NCLR Affiliate El Comité de Longmont of Colorado gathers the community to share a meal and call their members of Congress in support of immigration reform including a roadmap to citizenship.

The Senate firmly rejects anti-immigrant amendments introduced during budget debates – NCLR commends the Senate for rejecting anti-immigrant amendments introduced during the Senate’s recent “vote-o-rama” on the budget. Of seven anti-immigrant amendments that were filed late in the Senate’s budget debates, only one ended up coming to the floor for a vote – and that one amendment, Amendment 614 – which would have prevented immigrants legalized under future immigration reform from ever qualifying for Medicaid or Affordable Care Act exchange subsidies – was defeated by a 43-56 vote. Check out the blog post our own Leticia Miranda filed about the vote.

Recent polling again confirms that a majority of the American public supports granting undocumented immigrants a way to pursue citizenship, and that an overwhelming majority of small business owners agree with the Senate Gang of Eight’s bipartisan immigration reform proposalOn March 21st the Public Religion Research Institute released a “Religion, Values, and Immigration Survey” finding that more than 6 in 10 Americans agree that undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. should have the opportunity to pursue citizenship, provided they meet certain requirements in the process. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents supported reform including a roadmap to citizenship.

More recently, the Small Business Majority published an opinion poll on March 27 and found that 84% of small business owners and entrepreneurs support the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration proposal that places a roadmap to citizenship at its center.

NCLR restates its strong commitment to marriage equality and to the full inclusion of same-sex bi-national couples in any immigration reformNCLR has repeatedly pushed for the full inclusion of same-sex couples in immigration reform, telling the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security in mid-March that “family is family,” and that same-sex couples must be granted equal protection before the law for reasons of justice, equality, and the value of family unity. This week, as the Supreme Court considered ruling on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía reminded the Court and the assembled crowd that “familia es familia” —family is family – and that in the Hispanic community, where family is tremendously important, supporting marriage equality aligns with what NCLR has being doing for the past several decades: strengthening Latino families throughout this country.

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