It’s been a busy week in immigration, with a key business and labor group releasing their shared principles for immigration reform, Senators holding town halls in their home states, the launch of the new Alliance for Citizenship, and the leak of the White House immigration bill. To talk about all that–and more–America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry will be on Al Punto with host Jorge Ramos, Jorge Mario Cabrera of CHIRLA, and Katherine Vargas of the National Immigration Forum this Sunday 2/24 on Univision. Check out their discussion this weekend–and in the meantime, here’s a teaser video from Frank covering some of the hot topics they might talk about:
America’s Voice’s Frank Sharry on Al Punto This Sunday with Jorge Ramos by Van Le on 02/22/13 at 1:38 pm
ABC-Univision News: America’s Voice’s Frank Sharry One of 21 Immigration Reform Key Players by Van Le on 02/22/13 at 11:10 am
With multiple Congressional hearings already conducted, legislation from the president leaked, and major speeches given, the immigration fight this year is fully underway–and there are quite a number of people, from lawmakers to advocates, who are driving the cause. Ted Hesson at ABC-Univision News today has compiled a list of these power players (including some power haters), who will be key faces in the immigration reform battle. View the full list here, or check out some of the names below:
- Steve Case, co-founder of America Online (AOL), @SteveCase
- Janet Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), @JMurguia_NCLR
- Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, @RichardTrumka
- Maria Cardona, Democratic strategist, @MariaTCardona
- Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, @GroverNorquist
- Cristina Jiménez, managing director of United We Dream
- Rosario Dawson, actress, @rosariodawson
- Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, @JebBush
- Jose Antonio Vargas, Activist/Journalist,@joseiswriting
- Carlos Gutierrez, chairman of the Republicans for Immigration Reform super PAC
- Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention
- Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, @FrankSharry
- Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State,@CondoleezzaRice
- Sergey Brin,Google co-founder and president of technology
- Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation
- Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers (UFW)
- Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of SEIU,@SEIU_Eliseo
- Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, a national Christian organization and magazine, @jimwallis
Must-Read Articles on Immigration, February 22, 2013 by Van Le on 02/22/13 at 11:08 am
A new Pew Research Center/USA Today poll finds that more Americans support President Obama’s approach to a number of issues–including immigration–over the approach of Congressional Republicans. The poll also finds a clear majority of Hispanics approving of the President’s job performance overall, and his approach to immigration specifically. Meanwhile, the same poll finds that only 22% of Americans now identify themselves as Republican, nearly a record low. The new polling coincides with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), a key House player on immigration, appearing to announce that he did not support a path to citizenship in immigration reform. If Republicans are serious about turning over a new leaf in order to attract more voters, that’s exactly the wrong approach to be taking.
USA Today: Big business, labor find common ground on immigration
By Alan Gomez
Talking Points Memo: Why Labor And Business Agreeing On Immigration Is A BFD
By Benjy Sarlin
Talking Points Memo: Cantor Applauds Labor, Business Immigration Agreement
By Igor Bobic
Bloomberg: Guest-Work Plan Obama Opposed as Senator Resurfaces Today
By Julie Hirschfield Davis
USA Today: Hispanics are true blue again for Obama
By Susan Page
ABC/Univision: Latino Support for Obama on Immigration Is Way Up
By Christina Costantini
Huffington Post: Bob Goodlatte: Immigration Reform Doesn’t Need Path To Citizenship
By Elise Foley
The Hill: House Judiciary chairman opposes pathway to citizenship
By Daniel Strauss
Huffington Post Latino Voices: Antonio Villaraigosa Calls For Immigration Reform In Dream Is Now Video
The Atlantic: Will the Border Ever Be Secure Enough for Immigration Hawks?
By Molly Ball
NPR: The ‘Line’ For Legal Immigration Is Already About 4 Million People Long
By Ted Robbins
El Paso Times (Editorial): Border secure: El Paso can convince lawmakers
Washington Post (The Fix): Obama’s revamped image among Hispanics should worry the GOP, big time
By Sean Sullivan
Wall Street Journal (Opinion): The Economic—and Demographic—Case for Immigration Reform
By Sol Trujillo and César M. Melgoza
Political Wire: Immigration Reform Threatens to Tear Apart the GOP
Think Progress: Indentured Servitude? GOP Lawmaker Wants To Tether Immigrants To ‘The Dirtiest Jobs’
Daily Beast: The GOP’s Two-Front Losing Strategy
Talking Points Memo: Poll: Obama’s Popularity With Latinos Soars After Immigration Push
Daily Kos: My father’s naturalization document
US Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO Release Shared Principles on Immigration Reform by Van Le on 02/21/13 at 4:55 pm
A major development on immigration reform today between labor and business: Today, US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released this joint statement of shared principles today. Their joint statement reads:
The United States will always be a nation of immigrants who have contributed greatly to the vitality, diversity, and creativity of American life. Yet, like the rest of America’s immigration system, the mechanisms for evaluating our labor market needs and admitting foreign workers – as well as recruiting US workers – for temporary and permanent jobs are broken or non-existent. Current immigration policies are rigid, cumbersome and inefficient. What is needed is the creation of a professional bureau in a federal executive agency to inform Congress and the public about these issues together with a system that provides for lesser-skilled visas that respond to employers’ needs while protecting the wages and working conditions of lesser-skilled workers – foreign or domestic. Current efforts at comprehensive immigration reform present a unique and historic opportunity for American workers and businesses to work together to fix this aspect of the badly broken system.
Over the last months, representatives of business and labor have been engaged in serious discussions about how to fix the system in a way that benefits both workers and employers, with a focus on lesser-skilled occupations. We have found common ground in several important areas, and have committed to continue to work together and with Members of Congress to enact legislation that will solve our current problems in a lasting manner…
We are now in the middle – not the end – of this process, and we pledge to continue to work together and with our allies and our representatives on Capitol Hill to finalize a solution that is in the interest of this country we all love.
You can read the full statement—with its enunciation of principles—here. It’s very welcome and demonstrates continued momentum for reform–and it contradicts recent reports that negotiations between labor and business had stalled.
Alabama’s junior Sen. Jeff Sessions (R), one of the most anti-immigrant members of Congress, almost immediately criticized the release, calling the shared principles “internally inconsistent and contradictory.” His condemnation, by the way, came just a day after he told a constituent that “we’re going to debate” immigration reform, and “struggle through this issue to find answers.”
Sounds more to us like he’s instead doing what he’s always done—obstructing progress.
Reuters/Ipsos Poll is an Outlier; Abundance of Polls Shows Support for Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants by Pili Tobar on 02/21/13 at 3:55 pm
As we’ve said before, pro-citizenship and common sense immigration reform stances are the mainstream in the immigration debate—an argument bolstered by a range of national polling, including two new polls out today.
Fifty-three percent of Americans support a path to citizenship while 18 percent back a process toward legal status for illegal residents already in the country if certain conditions are met…Only 23 percent would deny any path to legal status for immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Similarly, the Pew Research Center found that the public supports a path to citizenship by a 72%-24% margin, while among potential Republican-voting political typology groups the pollsters identified, Libertarians supported the path to citizenship option by a 66%-32% margin and Main Street Republicans by a 58%-39% margin, while Staunch Conservatives were split at 49%-49%.
Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported. Only 5 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally, and 31 percent want most illegal immigrants to stay.
How could the results be so different? For one, it’s methodology is highly suspect. As Nate Silver of the New York Times’ “Five Thirty Eight” blog points out:
The central challenge that Internet polls face is in collecting a random sample, which is the sine qua non of a scientific survey. There is no centralized database of e-mail addresses, nor any other method to ‘ping’ someone at random to invite them to participate in an online poll. Many people have several e-mail addresses, while about 20 percent of Americans still do not go online at all… My view is that online polls should be regarded as ‘guilty until proven innocent.
In reference to another Ipsos outlier, he wrote:
When a poll produces what appears to be an outlying result, as the recent Ipsos poll of South Carolina did, reporters and analysts should treat it with suspicion and consider whether the discrepancies are explained by questionable methodology. Too often these outlier polls receive more attention precisely because their results are surprising or unexpected, but they usually deserve less.
We couldn’t agree more.
Alabama Immigration Advocates Confront Sen. Sessions: “You Are Going to Destroy Our Families” by Van Le on 02/21/13 at 3:46 pm
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the most anti-immigrant members of the Senate, encountered some of his pro-immigration reform constituents yesterday, at a fish fry the Senator held in northern Alabama. Here’s the story, highlighting parts of the exchange between a young pro-immigration advocate named Mayra Rangel and Sen. Sessions. From the al.com blog:
“Sir, you may have noticed that there are a number of us here tonight who are Latinos,” said [Mayra] Rangel. “Sir, we come wanting to ask you for help for our families that you might help our families who want to find a way to make the immigration system better for us. Our lives are depending on this. We want to keep our families together and we need help,” said Rangel, who lives in Blount County.
Rangel’s words hung in the air waiting for Sessions to reply. He did.
“Let me ask you, don’t you think we should have an immigration system that follows the law?” Sessions asked Rangel. Before she could answer, Sessions said, “I believe the U.S. should have a lawful system of immigration and it should serve the national interest, not special interest, not big business interest, not agricultural interest.”
Then Rangel broke in.
“But what about the interest of families?” she said. “Latinos are suffering, sir. We need something to fix immigration. We are asking you to help our families stay together so we can stay a part of our community and our country. America is our country now too.”
A woman sitting at a nearby table shouted out to Rangel that she and her family had come to America illegally. Before she could say more, Sessions cut her off.
“I know this is important to a lot of people. It’s important to me,” said Sessions, who was at the end of a long day visiting towns and cities across north Alabama. “But, I do not think that those who come into the country illegally should get every benefit the nation has to offer just because they are here. I do not feel a moral or legal obligation to allow those who entered illegally to benefit from breaking the law,” added Sessions as the 70 or so whites in the audience applauded.
Regal raised her voice over the applause.
“So, you are going to destroy our families?” she said to Sessions.
Sessions shook his head no.
“No, we’re going to debate this, struggle through this issue to find answers.”
A second woman, Rosa Calderon of Harvest, rose to confront Sessions.
“Senator, I came to America when I was just six year old,” Calderon said. “I had no choice. I went to school here. I was raised here. I’m as American as American can be. I love this country as do Latinos across this country. But you are saying because someone made a mistake years ago, a mistake in your eyes but in their eyes it was not a mistake because they were trying to find a better life for their families, you are saying you do not get a second chance?”
Again, Sessions was shaking his head no.
“We need to reestablish the rule of law,” said Sessions. “People can’t break the law and then demand the rights of citizenship.”
Again the non-Latino part of the audience applauded. Sessions raised his hand waving off the applause.
“To our friends, I know this is a tough issue,” said Sessions looking directly at the white table cloth covered tables where the Latinos sat. “We need to be compassionate with one another. But, our citizens have been pleading with their government for 20 or 30 years to fix this problem and their government – Democrats and Republicans – have not solved the problem.”
Advocates have video of the encounter–stay tuned.
Will Anti-Immigrant “Jerks” Keep Driving the GOP Position on Immigration? by Pili Tobar on 02/21/13 at 2:10 pm
“The only thing that stops them, and I’m afraid to say but it’s too damn bad, but is a gun. That’s all that will stop them,” said one. “Cut off their welfare and their stuff and they’ll go back!” another said.
These are just a few choice quotes shouted by anti-immigrant die-hards at a recent Senator John McCain (R-AZ) town hall event in Arizona. McCain called one of the anti-immigrant constituents a “jerk” and refused to back down from that description. More significantly, these nativists are some of the same individuals whose anti-immigrant animosity and have defined the Republican Party’s immigration stance the past few years, driving the Republican Party off the demographic cliff with Latino voters in the process.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
The question isn’t whether these anti-immigrant diehards exist. They do, although in shrinking numbers. The question is what the Republican Party is going to do about them? The GOP is at a defining moment. Are they going to keep allowing the anti-immigrant tail to wag the dog? Or are they going to follow the example of Senator John McCain and stand up for common sense reform in an attempt to lead the GOP out of the political wilderness?
As Chris Cillizza writes in a Washington Post piece titled, “The Republican Party’s Immigration Problem in 2 Minutes and 41 Seconds”:
For any Republican strategist hoping that immigration reform might be on the fast track, the clip below will be a painful reminder of the difficulty of its own party politics on the issue.
Republican pollster Glen Bolger captured the Republicans’ challenge in comments to the Post:
The GOP faces a choice between the politics of math and the politics of anecdote. The politics of math is pretty clear. The numbers of Hispanics are growing, and politically we cannot afford to get a shrinking piece of a growing pie. The politics of anecdote is that illegal immigrants are only taking jobs, selling drugs, and joining gangs. That’s clearly not the case, and we cannot pretend that it is.
Cillizza and his Post colleague Aaron Blake sum up the stakes for the Republican Party as follows::
If Republicans go through another election cycle in 2014 in which candidates espousing strong opposition to any sort of compromise on immigration are rewarded by winning primaries, it could well do permanent damage to the party’s standing in the Hispanic community and, by extension, its paths to the White House in 2016 and beyond. It’s no exaggeration then to say that getting immigration right, politically speaking, is absolutely critical to Republicans’ electoral hopes over the next decade or more.
Sen. John McCain: Yeah, I called Anti-Immigrant Jerk A “Jerk” – And I Stand By It by Matt Hildreth on 02/21/13 at 12:30 pm
While cable news channels have been in its usual hysterics over a few hard-core anti-immigrant cranks showing up at a Senator John McCain town hall meeting this week, the person most unbothered by those cranks has been Senator John McCain himself. He dismissed the confrontation as a normal event, saying “I’ve done town halls for years. They are vigorous and a little combative.” McCain even called one of his hecklers a “jerk” — and has no regrets about it:
One day after a confrontation at a town hall meeting in Sun Lakes, Senator John McCain held another town hall in Phoenix.
On Tuesday, an audience member of the town hall meeting fired off a string of heated questions about border security.
After attempting to answer some of the questions, Sen. McCain eventually quipped, “Occasionally I get a jerk like that guy.”
3TV asked McCain whether he regretted calling the man a jerk.
“Of course not. I call people jerks all the time, and they call me jerks. It’s supposed to be fun, loosen up,” Sen. McCain responded. “I’ve done town halls for years. They are vigorous and a little combative. That’s what it is supposed to be about. Loosen up.”
Loosen up. Good advice.
Wed Feb 20 15:36:08 PST 2013
McCain responds to ’jerk’ comment at town hall meeting
One day after a confrontation at a town hall meeting in Sun Lakes, Senator John McCain held another town hall in Phoenix. view full article