Week Ending May 16, 2014
This week in immigration reform: Poll finds that 71% of tea party voters support immigration reform; after meeting with President Obama, law enforcement officials state changes could be coming to Secure Communities; anti-immigration candidate loses Nebraska primary to more moderate opponent; and Senate democrats continue to pressure House Republicans on immigration.
–Poll finds that 71 percent of tea party voters support comprehensive immigration reform. On Wednesday, The Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Tea Party Express released a national survey of 400 Republican primary voters who identified strongly or somewhat with the Tea Party movement. 71 percent said it’s important that Congress act on immigration reform this year, while 70 percent support a plan that provides legal status or U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay penalties, taxes, pass criminal background checks and learn English and American civics. In an Op-ed, Sal Russo, co-founder and chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, encouraged conservatives to start leading in reform: “conservatives need to seize on immigration reform in order to reaffirm who we are and what makes our country great.”
–Local law enforcement officials met with President Obama to discuss immigration reform and changes to immigration enforcement practices. After the meeting, local law enforcement officials stated that they anticipate there will be a “reboot” of the Secure Communities program. They also mentioned that Secretary Johnson is aware of problems with the program that uses federal databases to determine if people detained by local law enforcement should be removed.
–Nebraska Primary sees harsh anti-immigrant candidate lose to moderate opponent. On Thursday, Shane Osborne who fervently opposed comprehensive immigration reform, lost to more pragmatic opponent Ben Sasse. While Sasse says he won’t negotiate on an Obama endorsed bill, he said he’s committed to practical solutions. While Osborne signed a pledge from FAIR to oppose amnesty, increases in illegal immigration, and increases in the number of guest workers, Sasse abstained from signing said pledge.
–Senate Democrats continue to pressure House Republicans to allow a vote on immigration reform. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid addressed the Senate floor on the importance of passing immigration reform before the June-August legislative window closes. Senator Schumer echoed Senator Reid’s remarks and warned House Republicans that if an immigration bill didn’t pass this year, there wouldn’t be an opportunity to address reform until 2017.
NCLR and Affiliates in action.
- Texas: NCLR’s Civic Engagement Project Manager Janet Hernandez, in collaboration with START Center, held a Colonia leadership summit on Monday and Tuesday in San Benito, TX. The summit encouraged leadership development in communities where there’s strong Latino presence.