Immigration reform: Will we see it in 2013? That’s the burning question on everyone’s mind this year.
A complicated debate and legislative process lie ahead. Here to decipher the headlines for you every Monday is THE UPDATE, a weekly blog series whose panel of experts will analyze how recent events affect the prospects for real reform. The panelists will offer an insider’s view of what’s happening right now on Capitol Hill, bolstered by their decades of experience with immigration reform and the legislative process.
This week’s edition appears in both English and Spanish.
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform? Here’s what the panelists have to say:
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners
Thanks to the support of advocates around the country, immigration reform still lives. Individual pieces are being considered in committees, and recent news reports show that the House’s “gang of seven” is nearing a compromise. While everything isn’t positive, it is encouraging to see that the chamber is progressing and taking this issue seriously. It is vital that any approach taken by the House address the entire immigration system and includes an earned path to citizenship. Evangelicals and other people of faith are continuing to mobilize—motivated by their faith, praying for reform, and working tirelessly to pass legislation. In fact, more than 300 evangelical leaders will come to Washington, D.C., this Wednesday, July 24, to make sure the House realizes the depth of support for commonsense reform.
Bishop Julian Gordy, Immigration Ready Bench, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
As the nation continues to watch the House of Representatives for signs of progress on immigration reform, at least one possible point of consensus emerged last week. Speaker Boehner and other prominent Republican leaders were widely quoted recently calling for fairness and compassion for undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. A hearing is scheduled on this issue in the House Judiciary Committee this Tuesday. This bodes well for at least part of the fair immigration reform agenda, by bumping up the chances for a comprehensive solution by at least that piece. Whether House leaders will show bipartisan leadership and deliver the whole package, however, remains at this point more a hope than a firm prediction.
Brittney Nystrom, LIRS Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
With temperatures soaring in Washington, D.C. this week, we are all feeling the heat. However, House Republicans appear to be feeling the political heat as well. LIRS believes that all migrants and refugees deserve fairness and compassion, which is why we support reforming our immigration system that is woefully lacking in both. With more politicians now reconsidering a roadmap to citizenship, for some if not all of our undocumented friends, neighbors, and family members, the sun shines a little brighter on the prospects for reform.
THE UPDATE will appear every Monday until the dust settles on the legislative battle over comprehensive immigration reform. If you wish to raise your voice for fair reform, please visit our Action Center. You can also learn more about the issues by reading two interviews with someone personally impacted by America’s broken immigration system, Jessica Colotl. Also, don’t forget that you can subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box at the top left of this page!