The Immigration Reform Train Is Moving. Are You On Board?


Today the president unveiled his much-anticipated proposal for immigration reform.  It comes on the heels of a Senate blueprint outlined yesterday by a bipartisan group of eight senators.  In each, the principle of citizenship is at the core, a very encouraging development in this debate.

Together, both proposals also underscore the fact that 2013 is the year to get immigration reform passed.  The American people want a solution, and it behooves us to take advantage of the energy and leadership that has emerged since the November election.

“Immigration reform was central in the president’s conversations with the Latino community throughout his 2012 campaign, and it is certainly heartening to see him push firmly to fulfill that promise,” said our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, in a statement.  “His announcement today, coupled with yesterday’s Senate blueprint, has turned the corner on this issue, building momentum and motivating lawmakers to put politics aside and get this important work done.”

Let’s be clear, though:  this is just the first step.  The most critical time in our struggle is now upon us as both Congress and the White House begin hashing out actual legislation.  We’re committed to working with both branches on crafting a bill which has at its centerpiece a pathway to citizenship and is inclusive of all Americans, including our LGBT brothers and sisters.  To do this effectively, though, we’re going to need to your help.

JM_Inauguration_PPT Slide_FINAL-02-01

It is absolutely crucial that Congress and the White House hear your support for immigration reform.  You can start by clicking here to demand that your senators support this push for reform.  You can also tell them to support reform by calling (877) 746-2575.  You’ll be patched through to your senator’s office.  In fact, why don’t you do both?

The immigration reform train has left the station folks, and now it’s time for action!  Let’s show our leaders that this is a priority for our community—indeed, for our country.  Join the fight!

We Need Immigration Reform to Keep Families Together

Janet MurguiaBy Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

(This post is part of the Moms Rising blog carnival, “Protecting Family Unity, Strengthening Communities and Ensuring a Thriving Economy with the Contributions of Immigrants.” Be sure to visit the site and read the contributions of more than 30 Congressional, non-profit leaders, and advocates from around the country.)

Every morning in this country, mothers and fathers focus on getting their children ready for school and then get to work themselves. But imagine having to do all this knowing that at any moment your family could be separated thanks to outdated immigration policies. This is the reality for nearly one in ten American families, in which at least one parent is a non-citizen and one child is a citizen.

One example of this kind of family is Liz and Jose. Liz, a U.S. citizen, is married to Jose, an undocumented immigrant, and they have three children who are also U.S. citizens. In addition to providing for the family and sharing household responsibilities, Jose has been supportive of Liz as she advances in her career and pursues new opportunities as a medical support specialist. Liz and Jose have established deep roots in their community. They bought a home and they attend their local church every Sunday, going out for tacos after.

However, shortly following a camping trip, Jose was detained by the police and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE initiated removal proceedings and Liz was told to purchase a one-way plane ticket for Jose to return to Mexico, a country he had not seen in years. Liz contacted an attorney and a local advocate to help keep her family together. She wrote, “I want the love of my life back home with his family, our children, and me so we can continue to live the life and the future that we had planned for our kids. My babies Zarrianna, Osvaldo, and Esteven want daddy back home.”

There are millions of children and spouses who have been separated from their loved ones in this way. They are now enduring tremendous pain and struggling to survive without their support. We hear their stories all too frequently. Families should be able to thrive together and provide the best that they can for their children. Instead of a process that tears families apart, our country deserves a common-sense immigration policy, one that includes a roadmap for people who are working hard and desperately want to be full members of our great country. We need Congress to pass immigration reform that reflects our strong American values of family, hard work, and opportunity.

Immigration Reform Back on the Table

What a difference an election makes.

The Huffington Post is reporting that Senate Democrats and White House officials will make a push for immigration reform as soon as the president is inaugurated.

From HuffPost:

A Democratic Senate source who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Huffington Post that the full push for reform won’t happen immediately, but will begin soon after Obama starts his second term. The Dream Act, which would give legal status to undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children, will be included in the efforts, according to the source.

“This isn’t going to happen during lame duck,” the source said.

The Obama administration has been a bit coy on what it views as its list of second-term priorities, with much of the early focus being spent on fiscal and tax policies that will take effect at the end of the year. But one close Obama advisor, not authorized to speak on the issue, said it made eminent political sense to try immigration reform at the top of the second term. And the president himself seemed to preview his intentions of doing just that during an interview with Univision late in his campaign, saying it was among his biggest failures.

There are no concrete details yet as to what a proposal would look like, but this is certainly encouraging news. We’re ready for this fight. We hope you are, too.