This week, new developments in states where immigration policy and politics are most salient reinforce the importance of the issue on Election Day and the need for common sense immigration reform. A broad coalition of voices in the key battleground states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico highlighted the failures of our current approach to immigration policy, previewed the power of the Latino vote and the immigration issue on November 4th, and called for immigration reform legislation to fix our broken system.

The latest installment of the popular right-wing “blame the immigrants,” game is a whopper. Conservative blogger, occasional television pundit, and consistent right wing loudmouth Michelle Malkin is — get ready — blaming illegal immigration for our nation’s current economic crisis. No joke. Neither Wall Street greed nor irresponsible government oversight over the financial industry are responsible. Just immigrants.

Today, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives will hold two important hearings to examine the Bush Administration’s failure to uphold labor standards, and the need for common sense immigration reform. Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) is also hosting a Congressional briefing to explore the impact of the Agriprocessors raid on the women and children of Postville, IA. The briefing will feature representatives from the Postville community who have been working with families separated by the immigration raid, along with experts in labor law and women in the workplace.

For immigrant and Latino voters, there is one issue that rises above the circus of election coverage focused on lipstick and pigs: immigration. A new poll released just this week by NDN reveals that there is a high price to pay for disparaging broad swaths of legal immigrants: they are surging to the polls in record numbers, supporting candidates who support comprehensive immigration reform, and punishing those who don’t.

America’s Voice released a new video ad bringing to light the truth about the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The ad is a response to the recent press release sent out by FAIR promoting their hateful rhetoric as “rational.” View the video ad here: www.americasvoiceonline.org/fightfair

In the aftermath of the May 2008 raid in Postville, IA, labor organizations, immigration reform advocates, and Congressional leaders feared that the fast-track deportation of immigrant witnesses ensnared in the raid would make it impossible to bring appropriate charges against Agriprocessors, an egregious violator of a series of workplace safety, labor, health, physical, and food safety laws. The news that Iowa’s Attorney General has brought charges against the owners and senior managers at the notorious plant is an important victory for accountability and justice.

A diverse group of national faith leaders announced the “Tour of the Faithful” today. The tour will consist of a national month of action, featuring 17 events from coast to coast, which will call for reform of our broken immigration system. Religious leaders and advocates are rallying their communities to stand up for immigration reform that reflects our nation’s best values.

One-time immigration reformer Senator John McCain, who championed comprehensive immigration reform in response to a national outcry for leadership, has surrendered to the wishes of his own party platform that serves up the same anti-immigrant mush to America.