Week Ending August 30
This week in immigration reform: NCLR’s own Janet Murguía participates in the Realize the Dream March, highlighting the importance of fighting to protect civil rights and the pressing need to pass immigration reform; Reps. Bachus and Carter call for reform on moral grounds, adding to the House GOP voices in favor of giving immigration reform a vote; Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are feeling optimistic about the future of immigration reform in the House; NCLR Affiliates meet with their members of Congress, hold town halls and community forums, and march and rally for reform; and the NCLR Action Fund gathers thousands of signatures on a petition calling on Speaker Boehner to give reform a vote. NCLR staff kept the community informed this week in a flurry of media appearances, with staff quoted in pieces by USA Today, The Hill, Univision, NBC Latino, Fox News Latino, VOXXI, El Tiempo Latino, Latina, and UPI Español.
—NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía marches to “Realize the Dream.” This past Saturday thousands showed up to the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famed “I Have a Dream” speech. At Saturday’s ceremony leaders from various civil rights organizations came together to address critical issues that impact fairness and justice for all Americans. NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía was one of the highlighted speakers, addressing important issues that affect the Latino community such as the need for more jobs for Latinos, the protection of voting rights, the promotion of equal rights for the LGBTQ community, and the urgency of passing immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship.
—House GOP support for immigration reform continues to grow as Reps. Bachus and Carter call for reform on moral grounds. The case for passing immigration reform has continued to build momentum, with Reps. Spencher Bachus (R-Ala.) and John Carter (R-Texas) calling for comprehensive immigration reform on moral grounds. Rep. Bachus linked his support for reform to his Christian faith, telling his constituents “I am not gonna separate families or send them back.” Rep. Carter sounded a similar note, reminding his audience that reform is necessary because “we are dealing with human beings with families.”
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.) spoke of the need for reform at a town hall in Allentown.
After a month of intense advocacy from community based organizations working closely with business and religious partners the push for immigration reform results in a tally of 24 Republican members of Congress in favor of immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship so far.
—Senators McCain and Flake optimistic that the House will pass an immigration bill with a roadmap to citizenship. At an immigration town hall in Arizona on August 27th Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said that they remain hopeful that the House will not completely reject the possibility of a path to citizenship and are optimistic that the Senate and the House can work together to pass a bill.
NCLR and Affiliates in action.
- NCLR Action Fund: The NCLR Action Fund contributed 3,039 signatures in two days to a coalition-wide petition calling on Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) to give immigration reform a vote on the House floor. The Alliance for Citizenship and other coalition partners will deliver these signatures and hundreds of thousands of additional signed petitions to Speaker Boehner’s West Chester, OH office on September 4th.
- California: NCLR Affiliates Community Housing Works of San Diego (CHW-SD) and Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) met with the North San Diego office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Tuesday August 27. The Affiliates urged Rep. Issa to bring immigration reform with a road to citizenship to the House floor. NCLR Affiliate TODEC Legal Center directed grassroots phone calls in support of immigration reform into Rep. Issa’s office.
- Minnesota: NCLR Affiliate Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) hosted Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on Sunday August 25 for a community forum on the need for immigration reform in the Twin Cities region. Rep. Ellison noted that immigration reform would bring tens of thousands of jobs to the state, increase state, local, and federal tax revenues, and keep Minnesotan families from being senselessly torn apart.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), CLUES President Ruby Lee, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and CLUES Board of Directors Chairperson David Spalding (photo: CLUES).
- North Carolina: NCLR Affiliate Latin American Coalition marched and rallied in Rockingham, NC on Wednesday August 28, calling for comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the House of Representatives.NCLR Affiliate and former Emerging Latino Communities (ELC) grantee El Pueblo met with staff of Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) on August 23 at his Raleigh, NC office. El Pueblo urged him to support immigration reform with a road to citizenship.
Signs used during Latin American Coalition’s 8/28/13 march and rally for immigration reform in Rockingham, NC (photo: Latin American Coalition).
- Tennessee: NCLR Affiliate Latino Memphis spoke with Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday, August 27th at a private luncheon held by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Noting that Rep. Fincher told the crowd “people going to work is what increases government revenue,” Latino Memphis’ organizer Shawn Roberson reminded the Congressman that immigration reform would create at least 11,000 jobs in the 8th Congressional District (as a tool released by the conservative group American Action Network shows).Rep. Fincher agreed to meet with Latino Memphis to discuss immigration reform.
- Texas: The NCLR Action Fund joined with NCLR Affiliate and host Houston Gateway Academy to put on a town hall on the urgency of immigration reform in Houston on Thursday August 28. Speakers including Sonia Troche of the NCLR Action Fund, Richard Garza, president and CEO of Houston Gateway Academy, Ben Mendez, Chairman of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC), and Bill E. Rivera and Marga Gonzalez of Rivera Law Center made the case for reform and took questions from a packed house.
The audience at Houston Gateway Academy’s 8/28 town hall on immigration reform (photo: NCLR Action Fund).
- New CIR Resources from IPC on select Congressional Districts: The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released a number of district-level profiles this week detailing the demographic and economic significance of immigrants in selected Congressional Districts. Check to see if your district is included as you urge your member of Congress to give reform a vote. For more resources or information on immigration reform, contact John Herrick at [email protected].