This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending July 18


Week Ending July 18, 2014

This week in immigration reform: President Obama meets with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the need for administrative action on immigration reform as well as how best to protect children fleeing violence; President Obama and Congress continue to debate what course of action to pursue regarding children fleeing violence, as a number of lawmakers introduce bills related to the emergency; NCLR launches “Hanging in the Balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans,” a blog series focused on individuals in need of administrative relief from immigration enforcement; and NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference in Los Angeles presents an array of immigration-related events.

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Pres. Obama meets with CHC, which urges him to act on administrative relief and to ensure legal protections for children fleeing violence.  President Obama met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) this Wednesday, July 16.  The CHC urged President Obama to stand firm on his existing promises to review and reform our broken immigration enforcement practices.  CHC members also encouraged the President to resist appeals from Republican lawmakers who wish to change the law so that child migrants from Central America would be denied due process and their day in court.

Following the meeting, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-4) remarked that CHC members will refuse to support any legislative changes that undermine the legal protections for child migrants, and reaffirmed that the CHC will work with Pres. Obama to organize the necessary resources needed to address the ongoing humanitarian emergency of children fleeing violence.  Rep. Gutierrez also reported that CHC members asked the President to be “broad and expansive in using prosecutorial discretion and executive action” to relieve aspiring Americans from the threat of deportation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) published an op-ed following the meeting in which he called on members of Congress to cease their callous, “detain and deport” approach to the children fleeing violence; pointed at Congress’ failure to consider immigration reform legislation as a root cause of the current troubles; and reminded his colleagues that America has historically provided refuge to those fleeing danger.

Pres. Obama and Congress continue debating best course of action on children fleeing violence.  As the Obama administration deals with the humanitarian emergency of children fleeing violence as best it can, political theater has replaced pragmatic policy-making as various members of Congress are introducing bills that would do little to address the root causes of the situation. So far bills have been introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.); and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas).  It remains unclear how Congress will move forward with addressing the emergency.

Other lawmakers, however, have suggested constructive proposals on how to address children fleeing violence.  The Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, chaired by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, firmly rejected proposals to change the law that would eliminate existing due process and humanitarian protections by indiscriminately sending children back to unsafe conditions of rampant gang violence, rape, murder, and human trafficking.

–NCLR launches “Hanging in the Balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans” series.  This week NCLR launched “Hanging in the Balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans,” a blog series that will highlight stories of individuals and families who would benefit immensely from relief from indiscriminate detention and deportation. Since Republican leadership in the House has wasted the best opportunity we’ve had in years to fix our broken immigration system, millions of hard-working individuals must now look to President Obama for action on immigration.

The first story in the series looks at how Congressional inaction on immigration has affected the Maldonado family of Northeast Ohio.  Check it out here, and stay tuned to NCLR’s blog for future updates to this series.

NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference in Los Angeles presents an array of immigration-related events.  NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA is just around the corner.  Conference kicks off on July 19 and runs through July 22.  NCLR is committed to the fight for immigration reform and for administrative action on the part of President Obama, and immigration-related events will be front and center at this year’s conference.

On Saturday, July 19 don’t miss NCLR’s featured session “The Battle for Immigration: Legislation, Executive Action, and Unaccompanied Children” at 10:45 A.M. in Room 515A. If you won’t be able to attend in person, you can

Also on Saturday, July 19 be sure to check out “Casa Azafrán: A Case Study in Immigrant Integration through Placemaking” at 9:00 A.M. in LACC West Hall 511C.  Later that day NCLR will be screening “Documented,” the new film by journalist, filmmaker, and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, at 2:45 P.M. in LACC Theatre 411.  Vargas will take questions and answers after the session.

Finally, NCLR will be holding a roundtable discussion on the humanitarian emergency of children fleeing violence in Central America on Sunday, July 20 at 1:30 P.M. in LACC West Hall 150B.  Check out the full pocket agenda for NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference here.

While at NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference, be sure to download NCLR’s new immigration integration app “Inmigo” on your smartphone!  The app provides workers in the immigrant integration field with up-to-date information on changing immigration laws and policies. The app is also equipped with an easy-to-use location feature that helps you find legal assistance on immigration-related issues.

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