This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending May 9

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Week Ending May 9, 2014

This week in immigration reform: Latino leaders in Virginia sent a letter to Majority Leader Eric Cantor reminding him of the positive impacts immigration reform will have on the state and nation’s economy. Rep. Renee Ellmers showed GOP colleagues that supporting immigration reform did not hurt her campaign as she went on to win her primary in North Carolina. The American Immigration Council released a report that found that 97% of cases filed against Border Patrol Agents for abuse go dismissed. Finally, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder issued updated guidance for school districts to ensure that all students have equal access to enrollment regardless of immigration status.

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–Latino leaders in Virginia sent letter to Majority Leader Eric Cantor urging him to take up immigration reform.  The letter spearheaded by Delegate Alfonso Lopez, member of the Arlington Board of Supervisors Walter Tejada, and Leesburg Town Councilor Marty Martinez highlights how reform would boost Virginia’s economic output to $7.2 billion by 2045 and increase total personal income for Virginia families by $2.7 billion by 2020.

–GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers, supporter of immigration reform, won her primary in North Carolina against anti-immigrant challenger. On Tuesday May 6, Rep. Ellmers defeated contender Frank Roche, a businessman who used Ellmers’s support for immigration reform as his platform to defeat her in the primaries. This is further evidence that Republicans can win their primary elections and House Republican leadership should not delay in moving immigration reform forward.

–The American Immigration Council finds that in 97 percent of cases filed against Border Patrol Agents for abusive and inhumane practices, no action is taken.  On May 7, the AIC released a report detailing inaction by Border Patrol Agents. Via information collected from a Freedom of Information Act request, the AIC found that from 2009-2012, 809 complaints were filed against U.S. Border Patrol agents for physical abuse and use of excessive force. Only 13 of the 809 requests ended in disciplinary action.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder remind school districts that all students are entitled to equal access to education regardless of immigration status. On Thursday, May 8 Secretary of Education Duncan and Attorney General Holder issued updated guidance to public elementary and secondary schools regarding the responsibility of all school districts to enroll all students regardless of immigration status. The update states practices to ensure that the enrollment processes continues to be consistent with the law and fulfill the obligation of affording all children with equal access to education no matter their race, color, or national origin.

NCLR and Affiliates in Action.

  • North Carolina: In anticipation of Mother’s Day, NCLR Affiliate, El Pueblo, conducted a letter writing campaign directed to the First Lady and President Obama, as well as Representative Holding (R-N.C.). The letters include stories from mothers and children suffering the effects of deportation.
  • Philadelphia: The NCLR Action Fund conducted a business outreach campaign that resulted in the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce publicly supporting Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

NCLR continued to drive calls into the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor through our Spring Into Action Campaign.  Check out our new graphic and share it on Facebook and Twitter!  We were excited to talk about this campaign and the need for Rep. Cantor to bring immigration reform up for a vote on MSNBC this week. 

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