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Immigration Reform “Office Hours”

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Legal Experts and Immigration Advocates Discuss the Latest String of GOP Attacks on Executive Action and What this Means from a Policy and Political Perspective Moving Forward

Listen to a recording from today’s call here.

From the halls of Capitol Hill to a courtroom in Brownsville, TX, Republicans attacked immigrants and their families on multiple fronts this week.  How will this impact the implementation of executive action? What does this mean for the “moderate” Republicans that dissented? And what will the effect be on immigration politics going forward? These were the topics of discussion on this week’s Office Hours.   

Reacting to this week’s developments in the House, Cesar Vargas, Co-Director of DRM Action Coalition, reminded Republicans that Dreamers are prepared to hold them accountable for their attacks against immigrant families:

With legislation to end deportation relief for our families and political lawsuits, Republican leaders have shown they are too timid to stand up to the ‘Deport-them-All’ Tea Party extremists. Dreamers will continue to protect the executive reforms from President Obama. As we approach 2016, we will remind the presidential hopefuls that executive action is a requisite for winning support from our Latino, Asian communities.

Today, in Denver, Colorado, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), local officials and Latino leaders gathered to denounce the barrage of GOP attacks and remind lawmakers, like Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) who voted in favor of ending executive action but against ending DACA, what’s at stake for their party and the millions of immigrant families they voted to deport.  Said Patty Kupfer, Managing Director of America’s Voice who’s based in Denver, CO:

Today, we participated in an event with families that would benefit from executive action to demonstrate to Mike Coffman and others that voting to spare DREAMers, while hastening the deportation of their parents and millions of others is not a moderate position on immigration.  The only thing it proves is how deeply out of touch the Republican Party has become on immigration.  The fact that a handful of Republicans can dissent on a single vote to deport Dreamers and still be cast as ‘middle of the road’ is really just a statement that the GOP’s lurch to the extreme right is now complete.

Meanwhile, down south in Brownsville, Texas, Federal Judge Andrew Hanen heard the first arguments in the 25 state lawsuit against executive action this week.  Said Karen Tumlin, Managing Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, about the proceedings:

Whether challenging DACA in 2012, or the Affordable Care Act before then, opponents of President Obama’s signature achievements have long looked to the courts to undo progress — and they have failed. We are confident this futile legal quest will meet the same end, and that’s why we’re not wasting a moment of momentum: the time to get ready for initiatives that will improve our communities, economy, and society is now.

Yesterday, America’s Voice Education Fund put out a new report detailing the nativist origins of the 25 state lawsuit and Judge Hanen’s questionable foray into the world of immigration politics.  Read the full report, “A Coordinated Attack: Judge Hanen and the Nativist Lawsuit Against DAPA and DACA,” here. 

Concluded Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

At the end of the day, we remain optimistic that executive action is going to be implemented and that millions of people will be protected.  Republicans don’t have the votes in Congress to stop it, they don’t have the law on their side in the courts, nor do they have the support of the American public.  For Republicans to take on executive action is bad policy and bad politics.  Fortunately, these important and historic immigration policy changes will change the lives of millions of immigrants for better, and begin to rebalance our immigration system forever.

For recordings and resources from prior Office Hours calls, click here. 


Listen to a recording from today’s call here.

America’s Voice Education Fund: A Coordinated Attack: Judge Hanen and the Nativist Lawsuit Against DAPA and DACA