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 27 de Enero.”
Given the most recent developments, are we getting any closer to immigration reform? Here’s what the panelists have to say:
Brittney Nystrom, LIRS Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:
There is growing optimism in D.C. this week that progress on reforming our immigration laws is beginning to pick up the pace. President Obama is expected to situate the reform of our immigration system prominently in his State Of The Union address tomorrow. Undocumented men and women have already been named as guests of honor for the big speech. Additionally, the buzz on the Hill continues to be about the expected release of principles for a new immigration system by Speaker Boehner’s office in the next few days. Compassionate immigration reform is one of the most pressing needs our nation faces. This coming week is poised to bring us even closer to finally addressing that need with a workable solution.
Ivone Guillen, Immigration Campaigns and Communications Associate, Sojourners
This week, House Republicans are headed on a retreat where immigration promises to be a hot topic, as they develop a set of principles for addressing immigration reform. In a hopeful sign, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a member of GOP leadership, recently embraced a path to legal status that would permit millions of undocumented immigrants to legally work and pay their taxes in the United States. Of course, immigration reform remains one of the administration’s top priorities. But, as the President prepares to give the State of the Union address, he clearly understands that pressure from the White House alone is not sufficient for the House to act. “You’re not going to see the President talking critically or negatively about Republicans on an issue like this when he wants to see this happen,” said Jim Wallis, president of the Christian social justice organization, Sojourners. “They’re not looking for conflict here, they are looking for cooperation and collaboration.” The top priority for getting immigration reform passed by the House must be ensuring that members of Congress hear from their constituents, especially people of faith.
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.