Week Ending April 19
Special Edition: Senate “Gang of Eight” Unveils Immigration Reform Bill
This week in immigration reform: the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight releases its much-anticipated immigration reform bill after months of negotiation and deliberation; NCLR’s California Affiliate Network gather in Sacramento to urge California state lawmakers to pass a resolution that lays out principles for federal immigration reform; and NCLR Affiliates in Texas, North Carolina, and California continue advocating for real immigration reform by meeting with their members of Congress and raising their voices at press conferences.
- NCLR Hails Introduced Immigration Bill
- NCLR Affiliates in Action
NCLR Hails Release of Senate “Gang of Eight” Immigration Reform Bill, Pledges to See Reform Passed in 2013: After months of negotiation and deliberation among a wide range of interests, the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight released its comprehensive immigration reform bill this Tuesday, April 16. NCLR commended the release of the bill by Senators Michael Bennet (D–Colo.), Richard Durbin (D–Ill.), Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), John McCain (R–Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D–N.J.), Marco Rubio (R–Fla.), and Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.), hailing its release as a monumental step forward in achieving a fair, humane and effective 21st-century immigration policy that serves our nation’s best interests and works for all American families, workers and businesses.
To learn more about the bill’s contents and significance, please see our FAQ on the bill (English/Español). Also be sure to check out a recording of an April 17 national call on the Senate bill with Gang of Eight member Sen. Menendez (English/Español), as well as the Senate group’s April 18 press conference on their proposal.
Our Digital Communications team moved quickly on April 17 to mobilize Latino voters around the bill’s release, generating 242 phone calls in support of reform to Senators and gathering 125 stories from individuals around the country who want real immigration reform passed this year. You can browse these stories on the map below. The stories come from people as diverse as a faith leader in Kentucky to a mother in Nevada.
NCLR Affiliates in Action: Calfiornia Advocacy Days brings together California Affiliates to urge passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation – As the centerpiece of NCLR’s California Latino Advocacy Days, our California Affiliates and regional staff rallied at the State Capitol in Sacramento on April 16th to urge members of the California State Legislature to pass Assembly Joint Resolution 3 (AJR 3), a measure that lays out principles for fixing the nation’s broken immigration system and calls on Congress and President Obama to adopt these principles as they work on crafting comprehensive immigration reform legislation. After the rally, over 300 advocates and local leaders from NCLR’s California network of 60 Latino-serving nonprofit organizations conducted more than 100 legislative visits to encourage state lawmakers to support the resolution and other pressing legislative initiatives.
NCLR Affiliate organizations continued to meet with members of Congress and their staff this week, with Texas Affiliates Vecinos Unidos, The Concilio, and Parents Step Ahead meeting with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). The three Affiliates urged Senator Cornyn to lead on immigration reform by supporting real reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship at its center.
Also in Texas, the NCLR Affiliate Network, which together employs 10,800 people and serves 900,000 Texan constituents, sent a letter calling on the Texas congressional delegation to contribute to a constructive debate on immigration reform and deliver the smart immigration solutions needed to move the country forward. The letter was also hand-delivered by NCLR Affiliates to Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas).
In Nevada NCLR Regional Field Coordinator Fernando Romero spoke at an April 17 press conference hosted by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), voicing NCLR’s enthusiastic support of the progress made by the Senate Gang of Eight in releasing a comprehensive immigration reform bill after months of negotiations. Romero joined representatives of Latino, labor, and immigrants’ rights organizations at the press conference.
A week earlier Romero hosted 15 organizations to call for immigration reform at a May Day Coalition CIR Press Conference on April 10, held in front of the Federal Building in Las Vegas. NCLR was joined by a number of Latino and labor organizations, including Culinary Local 226, Laborers Local 807, the Nevada AFL-CIO, Mi Familia Vota, and several other groups.
In North Carolina, the visit to Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) by NCLR Emerging Latino Communities (ELC) partner Action Institute NC (AINC) caught the attention of local media this past week. Members of AINC urged Rep. Price to work for immigration reform by sharing stories of how the current broken immigration system affects their lives. Jessica Sánchez of AINC described how her mother brought her from Mexico at 11 months to seek treatment for Jessica’s spinal bifida, and how her undocumented status prevents Jessica from receiving life-saving surgery. Price, after listening attentively, told Jessica and AINC that he would strengthen his efforts for just immigration reform by pressuring North Carolina Senators Hagan (D-N.C.) and Burr (R-N.C.) on the subject.