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Quick Hits: Immigration Reform This Week Across the Nation

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It’s been a busy week in the fight for immigration reform, between a delivery of turkeys to key House GOP members yesterday, an ongoing fast, a pre-dawn vigil outside of Speaker John Boehner’s home, DREAMers being arrested at Eric Cantor’s office, and advocates in Atlanta and Chicago conducting acts of civil disobedience to stall deportation buses and shut down ICE offices.  As Molly Ball at the Atlantic wrote today, “At any given time, the immigration-reform community is engaged in a dizzying flurry of activism.”

Events for immigration reform are happening all over the country, not just in Washington, DC.  Here’s a rundown of what else has been happening on immigration across the nation this week:

  • In central Ohio, about 100 people gathered on Wednesday for a Holy Hour to pray for changes to immigration laws.  It was the second such Holy Hour that the Catholic Diocese of Columbus has held this fall, part of a campaign that includes prayer events, public-education forums, a postcard campaign to Congress, and calls and visits to legislators.
  • In Colorado, a panel of Roaring Fork Valley business and civil leaders–including two registered Republicans–called on Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) to help pass an immigration reform bill.  As Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron said, “I hope that Scott Tipton can find the compromises necessary for broad-minded leadership, and isn’t just serving a constituency of — as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman described — old white people who have a knee-jerk resistance to immigration reform that grows from anxiety about the changing color and demographics of America.”  The event was organized by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
  • Yesterday in Arizona, pro-immigration reform advocates held rallies in Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson.  Protestant religious groups — including leaders from the Episcopal and United Methodist churches — were among those involved with the rallies.
  • In Nebraska on Thursday, advocates set out a Thanksgiving table to remind Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) that millions of families this holiday will be without their loved ones, thanks to the broken US immigration system.
  • In Washington, DC, women’s groups–including We Belong Together–took to the National Press Club to highlight the impact that immigration laws have on women.  Author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, along with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) were among the speakers.
  • In Georgia, dozens of Methodist pastors have signed a letter calling on the House to halt all deportations and provide citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the US.  Across the nation, more than 1,300 Methodist bishops and pastors from 49 states have signed the letter sent to the House.
  • In Texas, what started off as an ugly plan to play a game of “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” turned into a powerful affirmation of immigration and the contribution of immigrants on Wednesday.  After a national outcry, the Young Conservatives of Texas-UT chapter cancelled a proposed game in which participants could win $25 if they “caught” a student wearing an “illegal immigrant” sign.  In the game’s place, immigration reform advocates organized a pro-immigrant rally on campus which was attended by some 500 students and the actress/UT alum America Ferrera.