Week Ending August 16
This week in immigration reform: NCLR, its Affiliates, and community partners intensify their efforts for immigration reform during the August Recess; DACA turns one year old, with over four-hundred thousand individuals having been granted deferred action; a group of prominent Republicans and Democrats releases recommendations on immigration reform that stress the need for a real road to citizenship; and NCLR Affiliates meet with members of Congress in-district, organize community forums on CIR , attend town halls throughout the country, and continue phonebanking operations as part of NCLR’s August Recess push for reform.
—NCLR, Affiliates, and partners ramp up immigration reform efforts in August: Though for many August might be time best spent relaxing at the beach, NCLR and its Affiliates have joined forces with partners across the nation to intensify efforts during the August recess to build support for immigration reform.
As part of this push, on Thursday Aug. 14th 28 members of Congress received letters from 37 of NCLR’s Affiliate organizations and community partners as part of an effort to help educate them about the benefits of passing reform legislation.
To learn more about NCLR’s upcoming actions or to get your organization involved in the August push for reform, contact John Herrick of the NCLR Action Fund at [email protected] or at 202.776.1735.
—DACA turns one year old; hundreds of thousands granted deferred action so far: Since President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive action came into effect exactly one year ago today on Aug. 15, 2012, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has accepted 552,918 applications for deferred action and approved 430,236 of those applications.
NCLR Affiliates and partner organizations have done incredible work to educate the community about this initiative and to assist young people to apply for this much-needed relief from deportation. From conducting ongoing community education sessions to providing individual assistance in completing applications to establishing innovative lending models to help young people pay the application fee, NCLR Affiliates have been critical in transforming the lives of those who have received deferred action.
This impressive collective accomplishment means that 430,236 individuals who lived under the constant threat of deportation before receiving deferred action are now able to work and contribute to their communities, while immigration enforcement authorities are free to concentrate on those who pose an actual threat to public safety. While we celebrate the impact DACA has had on their lives, we continue to fight for a permanent solution that will enable young people and the rest of the 11 million undocumented people to earn citizenship in the country they contribute to and call home.
—Bipartisan task force releases recommendations on immigration reform, endorses reform that includes road to citizenship: The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Immigration Task Force – co-chaired by former Secretary of State under the Bush administration Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton administration Henry Cisneros, former Republican Governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour, and former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell – released a set of policy recommendations intended to move the immigration reform debate forward on Thursday August 15th. The bipartisan group of national leaders agreed that Congress must act to fix our broken immigration system, recommending that undocumented individuals in the U.S. be able to earn their way to legalization and eventual citizenship and endorsing immigration reform as a way to help repair the U.S. economy.
–NCLR and Affiliates in action.
- California: NCLR Affiliate TODEC Legal Center continued its phonebank operation this week, with volunteers directing calls into Rep. Gary Miller’s (R-CA-31) office on Wednesday Aug. 14 and Thursday the 15th.
The NCLR Action Fund supplemented TODEC’s efforts by directing 153 grassroots calls to Rep. Miller on Thursday August 15th. The Action Fund also directed 151 grassroots calls to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) on Friday, August 16th.
- Florida: The NCLR Action Fund attended Rep. Daniel Webster’s (R-FL-10) August 9th town hall in Polk City, FL.
Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) talks immigration reform with his constituents at an Aug. 9 town hall (Photo: Carmen Balasquide, NCLR Action Fund).
- Idaho: The NCLR Action Fund directed 153 grassroots calls to Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) on Wednesday, August 14th.
- Nebraska: NCLR partner Centro Hispano Comunitario de Nebraska recently attended a town hall meeting with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) in Columbus, NE. At the town hall, Centro Hispano’s Executive Director urged the congressman to support immigration reform.
- North Carolina: NCLR Affiliate El Pueblo and former Emerging Latino Communities (ELC) grantee ACTION Institute NC, along with coalition partners, met with Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) on August 13 and urged him to support immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
Meanwhile, NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition delivered baskets of fruits and vegetables to Reps. Robert Pittenger (R-NC-9) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) on Thursday August 15, memorably delivering the message that “North Carolina needs immigrants to grow.”
NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition delivers fruits and vegetables to Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC-9) to show that North Carolina needs immigrants to grow (photo: LAC).
- Ohio: Former ELC grantee HOLA (Hispanas Organizadas de Lake y Ashtabula) met with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday August 13 in his district. HOLA urged Rep. Jordan to work with his colleagues to bring immigration reform to a vote on the House floor.
- Texas: NCLR Affiliate Southwest Key Programs held a community forum on immigration reform in Austin, Texas on Thursday Aug. 15 as part of the “East Austin Summer Speaker Series.” Speakers included Fidel Acevedo of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), Alejandro Caceres of AIRC (Austin Immigrants Rights Coalition), Sonia Troche of NCLR, Paul Saldana of the NCLR Board of Directors, and Dr. Randy Baca of Temple College. The panel discussed the urgent need for immigration reform and the how reform could be implemented.
Sonia Troche of NCLR’s Texas office speaks on immigration reform implantation at Southwest Key Programs’ Aug. 15 community forum (photo: SWKey).
Meanwhile, the NCLR Action Fund generated 152 grassroots calls to Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) on Monday Aug. 12th, 152 grassroots calls to Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) on Tuesday Aug. 13th, and 151 grassroots calls to Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) on Wednesday, Aug. 14th.
- 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.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and with staff of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).
- NCLR released a new “Truth in Immigration” infographic this week (see below), documenting that immigration reform will help the housing market recover by creating 3 million new homeowners. Share this infographic on Facebook, and check the “Truth in Immigration” web page frequently for new infographics.