This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending April 12


Week ending April 12

The Senate “Gang of 8,” the bi-partisan group working on an immigration reform package, is reportedly just days away from introducing their bill. Both ABC News and NBC Latino are reporting that bill will be unveiled Tuesday, April 16. You can check back here for the latest on the proposed legislation, including our own analysis of what it means.

While the Senate has been busy putting the finishing touches on their reform deal, the NCLR team and our Affiliates have been feverishly reaching out to legislators demanding a fair and just immigration bill. Amid all this work was the “All In for Citizenship” rally, which reportedly drew 100,000 activists to the U.S. Capitol. We have reports on this historic event and more in “This Week in Immigration Reform.”

Top Lines:

  • NCLR and Affiliate organizations rally in Washington for immigration reform,
  • NCLR Affiliates in Action
  • New poll shows that two thirds of Americans support a roadmap to citizenship.

NCLR and Affiliates Join Rally for Citizenship: Our staff staff and Affiliate organizations joined thousands of supporters from around the country at the Capitol on April 10th to tell Congress that the time is now for immigration reform that includes a realistic, workable roadmap to citizenship.

NCLR Affiliates in Action: Out in California, NCLR Affiliate Lighthouse Community Charter School in partnership with NCLR’s CASA service-learning program produced a play based on their families’ own immigration stories. They ended the performance with a call-to-action for audience members to call and write their members of Congress in support of immigration reform. Watch a video of the performance below.

Other Affiliates continued to meet with members of Congress and their staff this week. Two leaders of YWCA El Paso held a member-level meeting with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). The Tejano Center of Houston met with the staff of Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas). Our Affiliates, Southwest Key Programs, East Austin College Prep Academy, and the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, hosted staff from Rep. Olson’s office. And, in Pennsylvania, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha and Congreso de Latinos Unidos meet with Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.).

These visits are important as they build upon other Affiliate and partner meetings across the country, which have occurred over the past two weeks. In Ohio, for example, our Affiliate, HOLA of Ohio met with the staff of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). To the north, in Wisconsin, the Spanish Center of Wisconsin visited Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.). Our Affiliate in Louisiana, Puentes New Orleans, held a productive meeting with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). In the Empire State, Cypress Hills LDC paid a visit to Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.). Our folks at Centro Campesino of Minnesota visited the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). And, finally, Latino Memphis meeting with Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.).

Our Affiliate advocacy efforts haven’t been limited to just office visits. They have also been actively engaged in letter-writing campaigns. In Arizona, Louisiana, and Ohio,  these groups and other NCLR partners sent letters this week to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) urging them to support immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship. The letters came from 14 organizations that serve a combined 302,910 constituents in the legislators’ states and districts.

In Nevada, NCLR Regional Field Coordinator Fernando Romero joined with Affiliates and the Latino Leadership Council to encourage Nevada lawmakers to voice their support for immigration reform. The joint effort resulted in a resolution endorsing reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship. It was signed by all seven Clark County Board of Commissioners. A similar resolution was endorsed by all 21 State Senators.

Nevada AffiliatesNCLR Regional Field Coordinator Fernando Romero with Nevada State Senate Leader Mo Denis and State Senate Majority Whip Ruben Kihuen, holding the State Senate’s resolution endorsing immigration reform with a path to citizenship. (photo: Fernando Romero)

Diane Cantor, Executive Director of NCLR Florida Affiliate Centro Campesino Farmworker Center, published an op-ed in the Diario Las Americas this week. In it, Cantor highlights the suffering that two families endured after one lost their father to deportation and another saw their father languish in a detention center for four months. Cantor’s piece deftly illustrates our broken immigration system and why reform is so urgently needed. Finally, Ed Martinez, President & CEO of NCLR Affiliate San Ysidro Health Center, also published an op-ed. Readers of the San Diego Union-Tribune learned about the need to include access to health coverage for undocumented immigrants in immigration reform.

Another Poll Shows the Public Supports a Roadmap to Citizenship:  In the next few days we anticipate the unveiling of immigration reform legislation, and once again we see that public support for the centerpiece of the legislation is strong. As we have seen in previous polls, the national survey released this week by NBC News/Wall Street Journal shows that 76 percent of the American public and 80 percent of Latinos support a roadmap to citizenship. As Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan state in their post on the topic, “Those numbers are remarkable. What they suggest is that when you get down to the nitty gritty of what Latinos want in and out of a path to citizenship, you find that it’s not that different from what the broader public wants.”

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