This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending August 2

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Week Ending August 2

This week in immigration reform: NCLR joins with the Alliance for Citizenship to announce an amplified August Recess push for immigration reform; a bipartisan panel that includes Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) highlights the economic benefits of immigration reform; over 100 GOP donors urge Congress to act on immigration reform, while more than 400 businesses and organizations call for reform in a letter to Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi; the Hill witnesses a day of memorable activism as immigrants’ rights activists are arrested for civil disobedience outside the Capitol; and NCLR Affiliates meet with their members of Congress and build coalitions for reform in advance of the August Recess. NCLR staff kept the community informed in a number of news pieces this week, with staff quoted in stories by NBC Latino, Univision Noticias, Latinos Post, HuffPost Voces, La Prensa San Antonio, VOXII.com, and Qué Pasa mi Gente Charlotte

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–NCLR joins Alliance for Citizenship to announce intensified August Recess push for immigration reform. On Wednesday July 31 NCLR, in partnership with the Alliance for Citizenship (A4C), announced a concerted push for immigration reform during the August Recess (August 5th to September 9th) in targeted House districts across the country. Activities will include: contacting members of Congress, registering new voters, attending town halls, holding rallies, driving phone calls into Congressional offices, and otherwise pushing for reform in the House with at least 360 events during the month.

As a member of A4C, NCLR will be active in 26 congressional districts during the August Recess, working through its network of nearly 300 affiliated organizations and its regional offices to persuade the House of Representatives that the time is now to act on comprehensive immigration reform. To learn more about NCLR’s upcoming actions or to get your organization involved in the August push, contact John Herrick of the NCLR Action Fund at [email protected] or at 202.776.1735.

–Bipartisan panel elevates the economic benefits of immigration reform: A bipartisan group of lawmakers, researchers, and industry leaders gathered on Thursday August 1 to discuss a new report by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) that surveys the myriad economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform including those benefits that will manifest at the state level. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Frederick R. Treyz, Ph.D., Chief Economist and CEO of Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) and Ken Barbic, representing the Western Growers Association, all participated in the panel. NCLR shared highlights from the panel via Twitter – follow @NCLR on Twitter and have your activities for immigration reform retweeted!
–Over 100 GOP donors urge Congress to act on immigration reform; while more than 400 businesses and organizations sign on to Chamber of Commerce letter calling for reform.

More than 100 GOP donors sent a letter to Republican members of Congress this Tuesday July 30 urging the House to take action on immigration reform. The signers included Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Karl Rove, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Tom Stemberg, a founder of Staples, and Frank VanderSloot, the founder of Melaleuca Inc.

On Monday July 29, over 428 businesses and organizations sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling on the House of Representatives to consider immigration reform legislation. The signers, organized by the Chamber of Commerce, noted that passing comprehensive immigration reform would give our economy a shot in the arm at a time when it badly needs one.
–Action on the Hill heats up Thursday as immigrant-rights activists and leaders are arrested for civil disobedience outside the Capitol. Visitors to the Capitol on Thursday August 1 witnessed the surprising sight of around 40 immigrant-rights activists participating in an act of civil disobedience in support of immigration reform. The group – which included Jess George, Executive Director of NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition (recently honored with the 2013 Affiliate Award for Advocacy at NCLR’s 2013 Annual Conference) – sat down and blocked traffic in front of the Cannon House Office Building Thursday morning while calling on the House of Representatives to allow a vote on immigration reform. The activists and leaders were quickly arrested by Capitol police.

–NCLR and Affiliates in action.

  • California: NCLR’s California office and NCLR Affiliates Community HousingWorks of San Diego and MAAC Project met with the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) on Tuesday July 30 and discussed the path forward for comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the House.
  • Colorado: NCLR’s Colorado office and NCLR Affiliate the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) teamed up with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), DREAMers, immigration attorneys, and representatives from the Asian Pacific Islander community and the Farm Bureau in a meeting with the office of Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). NCLR and its partners urged the Congressman to support immigration reform that includes a road to citizenship.Also in Colorado, NCLR Regional Field Coordinator Jesus Altamirano was interviewed by Univision Colorado on July 31 on the subject of NCLR’s recent study on Latinos and discrimination in the housing market. The study, conducted in partnership with the Equal Rights Center (ERC), found that housing discrimination against Latinos has increased in recent months – partially as a result of hostile rhetoric employed by anti-immigrant forces engaged in the immigration reform debate.
  • Ohio: Former Emerging Latino Communities (ELC) partner Hispanas Organizadas de Lake and Ashtabula (HOLA) continued campaigning for immigration reform this week by advocating to keep a Northern Ohio family together. HOLA sent a letter to Secretary Napolitano signed by 75 community leaders urging that a stay of removal be granted to a woman – the wife of a U.S. citizen and the mother of young U.S. citizen children – who is facing deportation proceedings. At a rally on Wednesday July 30, HOLA called for the House of Representatives to give us a vote on immigration reform so that families can live without the constant fear of separation.

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Photos from HOLA’s 7/31/13 rally in support of keeping a Northern Ohio family together (photos: HOLA).
  • Michigan: NCLR Affiliate the Hispanic American Council, a member of the United for a Better Future coalition, organized a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform in Kalamazoo this Wednesday, July 31, bringing together elected officials and leaders from both the Republican and Democratic parties. The group discussed what the various parties are looking for in immigration reform and agreed to meet again soon.
  • Washington, DC: NCLR staff met this week with staff of Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and staff of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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