Week Ending April 4, 2014
This week in immigration reform: House Democrats use a budget committee hearing to highlight the economic benefits of immigration reform; a bipartisan bill is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to create and enhance oversight of agencies and programs along the U.S. borders; a new report demonstrates the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs; groups across the country prepare for rallies to call for an end to deportations; and USCIS announces a grant opportunity for citizenship preparation programs.
–House Democrats force a vote on immigration reform in the Budget Committee. During a mark-up in the Budget Committee of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that would have required the budget to include the funding and revenue offered in the bipartisan immigration bill, HR 15. Rep. Cardenas, along with other Democrats on the committee, spoke of the positive economic benefits of including HR 15 in the budget, such as reducing the deficit by $900 billion over 20 years. The amendment was rejected in a partisan vote, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting against the amendment. NCLR followed the Budget Committee debate and used our Facebook page and Twitter handle (@nclr) to update our followers and to thank Rep. Cardenas and the other Democrats who spoke out in favor of immigration reform.
–Representatives introduce a bipartisan bill to create and enhance oversight of border enforcement practices. Representatives Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) introduced the “Border Enforcement Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement Act of 2014” to create and enhance oversight and accountability measures of federal law enforcement agencies working on the U.S. borders. The legislation would increase training of enforcement officials and require greater transparency on the use of force and migrant deaths. The Border Network for Human Rights has prepared a summary of the bill.
–Report documents the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs. A new study, commissioned by the Partnership for a New American Economy and the Latino Donor Collaborative, finds that Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs have helped power our economy during the recession and are contributors to job growth.
–Organizations around the country are preparing for rallies and events to mark the 2 million deportations under the Obama administration. This Saturday, NCLR Affiliates and allies are organizing and participating in events to bring attention to the crisis that has been created by the nearly 2 million deportations that have occurred under the Obama administration. Keep an eye out for an action alert from NCLR and please send us your photos from your events!
–USCIS is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2014 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. The program will provide up to $10 million in funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. A number of NCLR Affiliates have been recipients of these grants. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Vazquez at [email protected]