Immigration Action Newsletter October/November

Immigration Action Newsletter

August recess is over and Congress is back!  Where des CIR stand? What can we do to keep up the pressure in October? Upcoming advocacy opportunities, legislative updates and more below!

  1. Advocacy Calendar
  2. CIR and Legislative Update
  3. State Update
  4. Immigration in the News



November 4th

  • Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s November Call- 4pm EST, Monday November 4th

What does gratitude in action look like? As we approach Thanksgiving, we remember the farmworkers that grow our food.  Join the November 4th call to learn about the “Ag Act,” a bill in the House of Representatives that would negatively impact farmworkers. We will also discuss the escalating push for the House of Representatives to address immigration reform this year and specific ideas your congregation can incorporate into a worship service and into your Thanksgiving meal to educate about and act against the Ag Act.

RSVP here and please use the call-in number below

Call: 805-399-1000, access code 104402

  • Interested in making your community more welcoming to refugees and immigrants? Live in Ohio or Pennsylvania?

Join HIAS and other partners of Episcopal Migration Ministries for an important discussion about our nation’s history of welcoming those fleeing persecution and searching for freedom, and how we can deepen and broaden that commitment in our communities
Click here to find the information for your statewide call



This week Representatives Jeff Denham (R-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and David Valadao (R-CA) joined over 184 democratic House members as co-sponsors of The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15), the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced by House Democrats in early October. H.R. 15 is the text of the bill that passed the Senate in June, S. 744, with the controversial Corker-Hoeven “border surge” section replaced by the Border Security Results Act of 2013 which was passed by the House Homeland Security Committee on a bipartisan basis earlier this year.  It remains unclear if House leadership will decide to hold hearings on this bill or bring it to the floor but the bipartisan support has moved the immigration reform discussion forward in the House and applied additional pressure to House leadership to act, either on the bills they have already introduced or on other bills being drafted by members of the caucus.

  • Click here for a full list of co-sponsors
  • Don’t see your member there? Call 202-224-3121 and ask your member what he or she is doing to make immigration reform and the humane welcome of immigrants and refugees a reality this year
  • Want a refresher on S. 744 and how it compares to our resolutions?
    • The Presiding Bishop’s statement on the passage of S. 744
    • S.744 Summary and Episcopal Church Resolutions
  • Want a refresher on the Border Security Results Act of 2013 and how it compares to our resolutions?
    • House Bills and Episcopal Church Resolutions

Church World Service Global Summit
On October 7-8, despite the government shutdown, over 300 faith leaders including the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies arrived in DC for two days of fellowship and advocacy at the Church World Service Global Summit. Summit attendees met as denominations, as representatives of their state, and attended workshops, all in efforts to continue to deepen and broaden our national movement as people of faith for humane immigration reform and communities that welcome refugees and immigrants.

On October 8th, summit attendees held a prayer service, video below, and then a press conference to lift up the needs of the immigrants and immigrant families in our communities. The press conference also included Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA), later the first Republican to co-sponsor H.R. 15, and Representative Lofgren (D-CA). These events were followed by meetings with key decision makers, including a meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 6 other members of the House that both the Presiding Bishop and President Jennings attended.

American Families United Act H.R. 3431
Last week, Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), with co-sponsor  Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced the American Families United Act H.R. 3431. This bill would grant discretionary authority to a judge or the Secretary of Homeland Security to review specific cases for family reunification purposes in certain circumstances and offer relief to U.S. citizens currently separated from their families because of previous and minor immigration violations of a technical nature. Relief is also available in certain cases if those violations occurred when the family member removed was a minor. This use of discretion was allowed under immigration law until 1996, when the current regulations that separate these families were enacted. The legislation would prohibit this review for individuals without a legal basis to live in the U.S., those deemed a threat to community and/or national security, or those with a serious criminal record.

  • Read the press release from Rep. Pearce here


On October 29 Alabama agreed to a settlement with a coalition of civil rights groups challenging Alabama’s Arizona-style immigration law, HB 56. Among other anti-immigrant provisions HB 56 would have required schools to verify the immigration status of K-12 students, criminalized presence in the state without proper documentation, and criminalize undocumented immigrants looking for work. These provisions were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in 2012 and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up Alabama's appeal of the decision this past spring. Per the settlement, Alabama has agreed not to pursue further appeal of these and other key provisions of the law and will pay $350,000 to cover the costs incurred throughout the lawsuit of the coalition opposing the law.



Controversial quota drives immigration detention boom
By Nick Miroff
The Washington Post, 10/13/13

The outdated immigrant detention system
By Katharina Obser
The Hill, 9/18/13

Immigration reform is definitely undead
By Greg Sargent
The Washington Post, 9/30/13

Alabama Surrenders
The Editorial Board
The New York Times, 10/31/13

Immigration compromise would unite torn-apart families
By Lisa Mascaro
The L.A. Times, 11/1/13