Week Ending June 7
This week in immigration reform: the Senate begins procedural motions, setting itself up to start considering the immigration bill S.744 next week – stay tuned to NCLR’s blog and Twitter feed for the latest updates; a bipartisan House immigration group continues working on immigration reform legislation notwithstanding the loss of one of its members; meanwhile, NCLR staff and Affiliates put on and participate in community forums, rallies, roundtables, and continue making visits to their members of Congress and staff to push for immigration reform; and a new poll finds that the overwhelming majority of Latino voters want immigration reform legislation to address the roadmap to citizenship and border security together, and reject reform that is conditional on “border first” requirements.
Bipartisan House immigration group continues work as Labrador departs. The bipartisan House group announced on June 5 that it continues working on an immigration bill despite the departure of one of its members, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID 01). Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL 04) stated that he was sorry to see Labrador go but confirmed that the group’s remaining seven members – Rep. Gutierrez, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 19), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX 3), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA 34), Rep. John Carter (R-TX 31), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL 25), and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY 03) – remain committed to the process of crafting a bipartisan bill.
- NCLR and Affiliates in action.
Illinois: NCLR Affiliate Erie Neighborhood House hosted an immigration reform panel on May 30, where Isabel Anadon of NCLR Affiliate The Latino Policy Forum joined a panel of representatives from National Association of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) office, the Illinois State Dream Fund, and Erie Neighborhood House to discuss the latest updates in immigration reform.
Alabama: NCLR Affiliate The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA) partnered with Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL 07) and the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) to host Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL 04) on Friday June 7 for an educational forum on Congress’ recent efforts around immigration reform.
California: Several of NCLR’s California Affiliates and NCLR staff had a call with Senator Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) Judiciary counsel on Tuesday June 3. Affiliates asked that the Senator maintain the roadmap to citizenship and protect provisions that support family unification as the immigration bill is set to go before the full Senate for consideration and further amending.
Missouri: Cristobal Medina, Executive Director of NCLR Affiliate Guadalupe Centers, spoke with Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) staff on June 3 on the subject of the Senate’s immigration bill S. 744 and Senator McCaskill’s position on the bill.
The NCLR Action Fund followed up on these efforts on the ground by generating 252 phone calls to Senator McCaskill’s office on June 4. Callers urged the senator to support S. 744.
Nevada: NCLR’s Las Vegas office has kept busy these past two weeks, participating in a May 28 roundtable with Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and other Latino business, community and civic leaders; supporting a May 29 Asian-Pacific Islander town hall on immigration reform; and teaming up with Mujeres Unidas por Justicia and the AFL-CIO to put on a press conference on May 29 calling on Sen. Heller to publicly support reform including a roadmap to citizenship and delivering around 900 cards in support of reform to Sen. Heller’s office.
The NCLR Action Fund supplemented these efforts on the ground by generating 252 phone calls to Senator Heller’s office on May 30.
North Carolina: NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition capped a busy end of the month – which included delivering immigration stories and photos to Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) on May 29, putting on an immigration reform roundtable with business leaders and the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) in Charlotte on May 30, and meeting with Senator Hagan at her Greensboro office together with veterans and faith, labor, and agriculture leaders – by holding two rallies in support of immigration reform on June 1, one outside Sen. Hagan’s Greensboro office and one outside Sen. Burr’s Winston-Salem office.
The NCLR Action Fund accompanied LAC’s work on the ground by generating 252 phone calls in support of the Senate bill to Sen. Hagan’s office on June 3.
Texas: NCLR Affiliates and staff in Texas joined together to voice their disappointment with Senator Cornyn’s (R-TX) vote against the senate immigration bill two weeks ago, with 45 grasstops leaders gathered by Affiliates Vecinos Unidos, Southwest Key, the START Center, and the NCLR Texas office speaking to Cornyn staffers this week.
NCLR Affiliate YWCA El Paso also met with Senator Cornyn in Washington, DC this Thursday June 6, bringing their CEO Dr. Sandra Braham, communications director, and three board members for the meeting.
Washington, DC: NCLR kept busy on the Hill this week, meeting with staff of Senators Brown (D-OH), Crapo (R-ID), Rubio (R-FL), Landrieu (D-LA), Graham (R-SC), Warner (D-VA), Flake (R-AZ), King (I-ME), Hoeven (R-ND), Murkowski (R-AK), and Casey (R-PA), Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID 01)and also meeting with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
NCLR Affiliates: To share your recent meetings on immigration with your members of Congress, please fill out the report-back form on our website.
- New poll finds that Latino voters want the roadmap to citizenship and border security addressed together, and reject “border first” conditions to reform. A new poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Latino voters want immigration reform legislation that includes both a roadmap to citizenship and border security provisions to be put into effect at the same time, and reject immigration reform that would require a fully secure border before other elements of reform could be activated. The poll, released by Latino Decisions, finds that 81% of Latino voters — including 66% of Latino Republicans — want the roadmap to citizenship and border security to be addressed together, while only 13% think border security should be tackled first. Clarissa Martinez, NCLR Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement, was quoted in a number of news stories on this poll. “The surprise is not how galvanizing this issue is for Latinos — we saw that with the result of the  election — but indeed, this is intensifying not tempering. It is deeply personal. What Republicans decide to do on this issue is decisive.”
NCLR also released a new study of Latino banking habits that supports the case for a pathway to citizenship and will open the door to greater economic prosperity for all. “Citizenship allows our country to reap the full benefits of immigration and achieve the goal of successfully integrating immigrants into our social fabric,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza.