Week Ending August 8, 2014
This week in immigration reform: Following a weak show of Republican leadership last Thursday, House GOP moves to approve two reprehensible measures aimed at ‘solving’ the humanitarian crisis at our border, and effectively eliminating DACA; More elected officials call for compassion in treatment of child refugees; NCLR publishes the third installment of its “Hanging in the balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans” blog series, exploring the hardships our broken immigration system levies on many communities. NCLR kept the community informed with quotes in: The Hill, MSNBC, and CNN.
–House GOP delays August recess to cast votes on two abhorrent bills. In an evening vote last Friday, House Republicans passed two shameful pieces of legislation aimed at providing only a fraction of the funding needed for the humanitarian emergency along the southwest border and ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The measures passed mostly along party lines included: an appropriations bill to provide funding for the border crisis and amend a 2008 anti-trafficking law, thus denying due process for children and families fleeing violence in Central America. Also, the House Republican leadership allowed a vote on a bill to freeze the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which currently protects more than 500,000 DREAMers from the threat of deportation. An Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill (S.2648) crafted and backed by Senate Democrats failed to gather the 60 votes needed to clear the chamber. The funding to address the humanitarian emergency at the border may be brought up when Congress returns for a very brief period of time in September.
NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía condemned the anti-immigrant actions of House Republicans in a statement, stating, ‘It was an embarrassing and shameful display by people who are refusing to do their job and help the country.”
–Elected officials continue to respond to the humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border. Congressman Jim McGovern(D-Mass.) recently penned an article detailing his trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, recounting his visit to a McAllen detention facility and urging lawmakers to show compassion in their handling of this issue. Rep. McGovern also acknowledged the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Earlier this week, City Council leaders in South Carolina also took steps to respond to the humanitarian crisis, passing a resolution to welcome child refugees to the city of Columbia, SC. NCLR applauds the benevolent actions of the Columbia City Council and hope other cities follow suit.
In North Carolina, NCLR Affiliates are joining with other civil rights leaders to denounce statements made by Governor Pat McCrory. El Pueblo and Centro Hispano are joining the North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement in a press conference to stand together to challenge North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for pandering to racial fears in statements about Central American children fleeing violence at home and coming to the United States.
–NCLR publishes third installment of “Hanging in the balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans” blog series. In this week’s story, we lift the voices of individuals, who as skilled workers, have helped build and strengthen their communities and highlight how our broken immigration system is threatening those very contributions.
When Benjamin Nuñez-Marquez’s selfless actions put him at risk of deportation, an entire community rallied around him determined to challenge his removal proceedings. Check out his story here.
Stories like that of Benjamin’s often reveal just how terribly misguided our immigration policies are—indiscriminately targeting individuals who are contributing members of our communities and in no way pose a threat to our society. Given the GOP’s determination to continue such broken policies, we urge President Obama to take action and bring about relief to the many immigrants who contribute so much to our country.