This Week in Immigration Reform

Week Ending April 14

This week in immigration: NCLR produces a “Know Your Rights: Financial Safety” checklist in English and Spanish; nearly 1500 economists agree immigration strengthens the economy; upcoming webinar discusses partnerships for community education and immigration screenings.

Tools you can use: This week, NCLR produced a “Know Your Rights: Financial Safety” checklist, which outlines the important steps people can take to protect their financial security and that of their loved ones if facing deportation or detention. The informative tool offers guidance and tips on a broad array of financial matters including accessing bank accounts, managing a mortgage or a lease, and filing taxes, among other topics. The checklists are available in English and Spanish.

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This Week In Immigration Reform — Week Ending February 3

Post-Inauguration Edition

Post-Inauguration Updates: NCLR responds to executive orders; Resources regarding the executive orders; NCLR continues to mount opposition to the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.

NCLR Responds to Executive Orders: Last week, the president signed a number of executive orders that prove an unprecedented capacity to ignore the facts, flout the norms of public discourse, and declare open season on the nation’s immigrants and 55 million Americans of Hispanic descent. The executive orders include plans to move forward with building a wall on the Mexican border, ramp up deportations and go after cities refusing to transform their local law enforcement into immigration agents. The president also signed an extreme and inhumane executive order that would suspend immigration from a host of Muslim-majority countries and stop refugee from some countries. “We do not turn our backs on vulnerable people fleeing persecution and horrific violence. That is not who we are or who we ought to be. In short, these orders are as un-American as it gets,” stated NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

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The NCLR Staff Went to the Supreme Court to Fight for Families!

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for United States v. Texas, the case that could decided whether President Obama’s administrative relief programs, DAPA and expanded DACA, can be implemented.

At a rally outside the court, thousands gathered to “Fight for Families,” and to make sure our voices are heard. In attendance were grassroots organizers, Members of Congress, and thousands of advocates. The entire NCLR staff was also there to hear remarks from our President and CEO, Janet Murguía.

Take a look at some of the social media highlights from the day.

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Weekly Washington Outlook — March 14, 2016

White House at Night

What to Watch This Week: 



On Monday, the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 2984– Fair RATES Act (Sponsored by Rep. Joe Kennedy / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 1268– Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4427– To amend section 203 of the Federal Power Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 2080– To reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving Clark Canyon Dam (Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Zinke / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 2081– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving the Gibson Dam(Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Zinke / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 3447– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4416– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. David McKinley / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4434– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Gibson / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4411– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • R. 4412– To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project (Sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith / Energy and Commerce Committee)
  • Con. Res. 121– Expressing the sense of the Congress condemning the gross violations of international law amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Government of Syria, its allies, and other parties to the conflict in Syria, and asking the President to direct his Ambassador at the United Nations to promote the establishment of a war crimes tribunal where these crimes could be addressed, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • Con. Res. 75– Expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • 2426– To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in the International Criminal Police Organization, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner / Foreign Affairs Committee)
  • R. 4721– To amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

On Tuesday the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 3797– SENSE Act (Sponsored by Rep. Keith Rothfus / Energy and Committee Committee)

On Wednesday and the balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 4596– Small Business Broadband Deployment Act (Sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden / Energy and Committee Committee)
  • H. R ____– Authorizing the Speaker to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the House of Representatives in the matter of United States, et al. v. Texas, et al. (Sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan / Rules Committee)


On Monday, the Senate will consider the nomination of Dr. John B. King, of New York, to be Secretary of Education. The Senate may also vote on final passage of energy legislation S. 2012. The measure has been stalled as Senators seek a path forward on an amendment that would assist municipalities such as Flint, Michigan, clean up tainted drinking water supplies.

White House:

On Monday, the president will visit the State Department to deliver remarks at the Chief of Missions Conference. Afterwards, he will deliver brief opening remarks to the performance of musical selections from HAMILTON. This will be a culmination of a daylong event hosted by the first lady for students with the Broadway cast of HAMILTON.

On Tuesday, the president will hold a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Kenny of Ireland.  Afterwards, President Obama and Vice President Biden will travel to the U.S. Capitol for the Friends of Ireland Luncheon. Later on, the president will deliver remarks at a reception for St. Patrick’s Day at the White House.

On Wednesday, the president will deliver remarks a reception for Women’s History Month at the White House.

On Thursday and Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

Also this Week:

Budget/Appropriations – Members of the Cabinet will continue to appear on Capitol Hill this week to make their budget requests to start the annual appropriations process. Among these, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Education and Workforce Committee; Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is scheduled to appear before the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday and the HHS-Education Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday; and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is scheduled to appear before the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday. These hearings come as the House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) seeks a path forward on a budget resolution.  It is possible that the Committee could approve a draft as soon as this week, despite objections from some conservative members over spending levels. These objections are being addressed through “sidecar” legislation that would make deep cuts to mandatory spending programs. This legislation would be taken up separately from the budget resolution. The House Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee are advancing separate pieces this week.

Tax – The House Ways and Means Committee will mark-up legislation this week as part of its portion of the “sidecar” to the budget resolution. Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced last week that this will include a provision requiring a Social Security Number to claim the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit. Democrats on the Committee are widely expected to strongly oppose: the legislation would deny roughly 4 million U.S. citizen children the credit and roughly 85 percent of the children impacted are Latino.

Immigration – This week, the House will vote on a resolution to file an amicus brief in support of Texas and other states in litigation opposing DAPA. Oral arguments in the case have been scheduled for mid-April. Related, the House Judiciary Committee’s Task Force on Executive Overreach, led by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), will hold its first immigration-related hearing on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the security of U.S. visa programs. David Donahue, principal deputy assistant secretary for consular affairs at the State Department, Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Sarah Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth are expected to testify.

Finance – The House Financial Services Committee will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday featuring the Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The hearing comes as the CFPB finalizes a rule surrounding payday lending, which is expected to require lenders verify a potential borrower’s ability to repay a loan prior to underwriting.

Health – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider legislation as part of the “sidecar” to a budget resolution that would seek to allow more lottery winnings to be counted as income for the purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility, would reduce Medicaid reimbursement rates for prisoners, and would eliminate an increase in the federal matching rate for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The so-called “CHIP bump” has enabled states to expand the program to increase the number of insured children. Elsewhere, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday about Flint, MI’s tainted water. Related in the Senate, efforts are still underway to encourage Sen. Lee (R-Utah) to drop his objection to an amendment that would establish a loan to communities like Flint in need of infrastructure repairs.

Education – The Senate will vote Monday evening to confirm Dr. John King as the Secretary of Education. NCLR and the National Urban League posted an op-ed in support of his confirmation.

Puerto Rico – Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) plans to introduce legislation on Monday to provide a comprehensive solution to Puerto Rico’s financial and humanitarian crisis.  The legislation is similar in many respects to the Administration’s plan to address Puerto Rico, including debt restructuring, a financial control board, and tax and health provisions.  Additional details available here.

Supreme Court – The President may nominate a successor to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat as soon as this week. Republican Leadership in the Senate has stated repeatedly that the President’s nominee will not receive a hearing or a vote on the floor.

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending January 29


Week Ending January 29

This week in immigration: New poll shows support for administrative relief; our colleagues at America’s Voice provide a primer on judicial standing; and NCLR Affiliate TODEC reflects on passage of AB 60 in California.

Reuters polls shows support president’s administrative relief measures: A new poll released this week by Reuters and Ipsos finds yet again that a majority of Americans support the actions taken by President Obama to provide administrative relief. 61 percent of Americans support the plan to provide a reprieve from deportation for some of the 11.3 undocumented immigrants currently in the country, including 42 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats. This poll comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that the Supreme Court will hear the case surrounding President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which would provide relief for an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants.

Editorials questions validity of administrative relief lawsuit: With oral arguments expected in the spring in the United States v. Texas case, numerous media outlets have voiced support for President Obama’s administrative relief plans. America’s Voice provided an analysis of the state of Texas’s legal standing to sue the United States over the President’s executive action. The analysis argues that the legal standing is questionable at best, given the Supreme Court’s precedent of allowing the President broad authority when it comes to immigration enforcement.

Additionally, an op-ed in the New York Times calls the claims made by the 26 states taking part in the lawsuit “groundless” and says states should never have been allowed to sue in the first place. “Texas claims that it has that right [to sue] simply because it thinks the president’s orders would harm its economy,” writes the Times. “If the court were to accept this kind of claim, it would mean that any time a state or city opposed a federal action, it could drag that political dispute into the courts.”

NCLR Affiliate, TODEC, on the implementation of California law AB 60: California celebrated the one-year anniversary of the passage of AB 60 in California, which authorizes driver licenses for undocumented immigrants. In a blog post, Luz Gallegos, Community Programs Director for the Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center (TODEC), reflected on the fight to pass the measure, saying, “Once AB 60 passed, one of the sheriffs in an area we serve said that his department wouldn’t respect the law, but through building relationships and sitting down and discussing our constituents’ side, he finally agreed that he would uphold the law and allow his officers to do so as well.” Founded 31 years ago, TODEC is an NCLR Affiliate that advocates for immigrants’ rights in California’s Inland Empire.

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending January 15


Week Ending January 15

This week in immigration: No decision yet from the Supreme Court; Ready America conference provides immigration integration strategies; new report examines children with unauthorized immigrant parents.

No decision yet from the Supreme Court on DAPA and expanded DACA: The Supreme Court could still agree to hear the case at their next meeting on Friday, January 22.  While we wait to hear if the Supreme Court will take the case, take a moment to read the op-ed written by Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) describing the work of her late father, Rep. Roybal and others pushing for executive action that would protect spouses and children of people gaining legal status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Under the Family Fairness policy, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) ultimately made up to 1.5 million unauthorized spouses and children of those legalized under IRCA eligible for temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. Rep. Roybal-Allard writes “It is my hope that once DAPA and expanded DACA are permitted to take effect and millions of Dreamers and parents of American citizens are permitted to come forward, pass background checks and more fully participate in our communities, Congress will act consistent with the will of the American people and enact sensible immigration reform legislation. Doing so will honor the legacy and the principle of family unity that my father, as well as Reagan and Bush, championed.”

Ready America conference brings together immigration leaders: Grassroots organizers, advocacy groups, and legal experts will gather in Arlington, Virginia next month to collaborate on immigration integration strategies at the 2nd annual Ready America conference. The focus will be on preparing organizations to assist Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Additionally, participants will discuss policies and procedures to enact should the Supreme Court uphold Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded DACA. Individuals or groups looking to register for the conference can do so here, and an outreach flyer providing exact dates, times, and locations is available here.

Migration Policy Institute examines outcomes for children with unauthorized immigrant parents: The Migration Policy Institute this week released a fact sheet titled “A Profile of U.S. children with Unauthorized Immigrant Parents.” This publication finds that children growing up with unauthorized immigrant parents face lower preschool enrollment, reduced socioeconomic progress, and higher rates of linguistic isolation and poverty. By middle childhood, research shows that the estimated 5.1 million children living with at least one unauthorized immigrant parent face lower academic achievement. By adolescence, these same youth suffer from higher anxiety and depressive symptoms, and by young adulthood have completed an average of 1.25 to 1.5 fewer years of schooling than their peers. Despite the fact that 79 percent of children with unauthorized immigrant parents are U.S. citizens themselves, they still suffer the consequences of our broken immigration system.

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending October 30


Week Ending October 30

This week in immigration: NCLR participates in American Constitution Society event on 1965 Immigration Act; NC Governor signs anti-immigrant bill despite pushback across the state; and still waiting for a decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 NCLR senior advisor participates in event on 1965 immigration act: Earlier this week, Charles Kamasaki, NCLR Senior Advisor, moderated a panel discussion hosted by the American Constitution Society and the Economic Policy Institute. The expert panel discussed the legacy of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Earlier this month marked the 50th anniversary of the legislation that opened immigration to the U.S. to people who had previously been excluded. A video of the panel discussion is available on the ACS website.  

 Despite pushback from across the state, North Carolina governor signs HB 318: Previous updates reported that the North Carolina legislature had passed HB 318, legislation that would ban North Carolina cities from adopting community trust policies and prohibit government officials from accepting consular identification. Earlier this week, Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill despite opposition from groups across the state including NCLR Affiliates, El Pueblo, El Centro Hispano, and the Latin American Coalition. Angeline Echeverria, Executive Director of El Pueblo, said to The Huffington Post: “In the medium to long term we’re looking at repeal, what are our possibilities of mobilizing a lot of voters in the election to make sure that the people who are running for office understand how important an issue this is to our communities and they take that into account.”

 5TH Circuit Court of Appeals still has not issued a decision on administrative relief: This week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, spoke at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference in Washington, DC and expressed frustration that the expansion of DACA and DAPA are being held up in the courts, but said DHS will continue to defend the program. Asked about the administration’s plans to request review by the Supreme Court, he stated that they are taking it “one day at a time.” NPR has a story on the delay here and what it means for millions of families.   

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