Immigration reform is seeing a rejuvenated push. The question is, will it become a reality in 2014?
Here to keep you up-to-date on the debate and legislative progress 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. Media representatives who wish to speak with one of the panelists, please click here. If you would like to read previous editions of THE UPDATE, please click here. You can read the Spanish version at “Reforma migratoria de 2014: ‘LA ACTUALIZACIÓN’ para el lunes 3 de Marzo.”
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform?
Brittney Nystrom, Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:
The ups and downs of the immigration reform debate are reminiscent of the ski jumps of Sochi. But the politics of immigration are smoother than they might appear. Several prominent Republicans in the House of Representatives issued statements recently supporting the passage of immigration reform in 2014. The leader of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to urge Congress to pass immigration reform. Progressive activists have not relented in their demands for updated and humane immigration reform legislation, and in recent days have increased pressure on the White House to ease the record-breaking pace of deportations until Congress delivers more just laws. Catholic and evangelical leaders delivered an open letter to Congress asking for a solution to our immigration system based on American values. The choir of voices seeking a more fair, logical, and just set of immigration laws is singing in unison. The House of Representatives must choose whether to sing along, or remain painfully out of tune.
Ivone Guillen, Immigration Campaigns and Communications Associate, Sojourners:
While immigration reform seems to lay dormant in the halls of Congress, the faith community is fervently mobilizing to keep pressure on House members to pass legislation this year. The #Fast4Families community has taken their efforts on the road, launching a cross-country bus tour to highlight how local communities are being impacted by our unworkable polices and the need for reform. In Washington, D.C., Catholic and evangelical leaders joined together to send an open letter to Congress emphasizing the vital need for broad and reasonable immigration reform this year. The drumbeat is only growing louder. Everyone wants to see the House take action.
Bishop Julian Gordy, Immigration Ready Bench, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
On February 26, Catholic and evangelical faith leaders wrote to Congress to request “just, fair and humane immigration laws.” As a faith leader myself, I warmly welcome this letter and pray that members of Congress will consider it carefully. Updating our immigration laws is a moral necessity. Our current laws divide families, thwart justice, and rely too heavily on immigration detention. American congregations and communities are devastated when friends and neighbors are detained or deported without compassion or dignity. There is a better way. My prayers are with the President and Congress as they seek to overcome political challenges to win a moral victory.
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.