“America’s Voice welcomes Secretary Solis’ confirmation to lead the U.S. Department of Labor. She is a strong advocate for the rights of all workers and a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. “Secretary Solis understands how our dysfunctional immigration system leads to worker exploitation. When millions of undocumented workers are without the protection of the law, it encourages unscrupulous employers to undercut the wages and working conditions of all workers.

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the nomination of John Morton to head the Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The Department also announced the appointment of Esther Olavarria as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for the Department. Both positions will play key roles in shifting enforcement priorities towards the really bad actors and enacting the President’s vision for comprehensive immigration reform.

On Tuesday, President Obama told Eddie “Piol�n” Sotelo, “We’re going to make sure that we begin the process of dealing with the immigration system that’s broken. We’re going to start by really trying to work on how to improve the current system so that people who want to be naturalized, who want to become citizens, like you did, that they are able to do it; that it’s cheaper, that it’s faster, that they have an easier time in terms of sponsoring family members. And then we’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform. Now, you know, we need to get started working on it now.

In a letter to the editor in National Review, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) attempts to refute conservative pundit Richard Nadler’s recent essay about the need for the GOP to change its stance on immigration reform. But Smith’s letter makes it clear that this policymaker-and his colleagues in the GOP who agree with him-is still stuck in the first stage of loss and grief following the November 2008 elections: denial and isolation.

“The Joe Arpaio approach to law enforcement is un-American and ineffective. His actions are the perfect example of why the federal government needs to take back control of immigration enforcement and pass a practical immigration reform law that secures our borders and legalizes undocumented workers. It’s welcome news that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will begin a federal investigation into his unlawful tactics. Arpaio is a modern day Bull Connor and his publicity-seeking crusades have made the Latino community scared and Maricopa County less safe by prioritizing racial profiling over executing the felony warrants that have piled up on his desk.”

“The often politicized and divisive debate around immigration calls for a deeper dialogue shaped by our best religious values of compassion, mercy, justice, and tolerance,” stated the Reverend Jim Wallis, president and Executive Director of Sojourners. “The faith community has a clear responsibility in leading this conversation and helping those who are most vulnerable due to their immigration status.”
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform that reflects our mandate to welcome the stranger and treat all human beings with dignity and respect, is leading this effort.

In an interview with Hispanic journalists this week, Emanuel noted that “the arrow is pointing in a different direction in relation to immigration politics in this country.” As evidence, he offered the debate over the recently-enacted Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), when virtually all Democrats in the House and Senate joined with Republicans such as Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), among others, to include legal immigrant children and pregnant women in the program. According to press reports, Emanuel cited the White House’s commitment to including legal immigrants in CHIP as an example of the importance the new

Today, President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) into law, allowing access to health care for millions of children across the country. Included in the bill are provisions to help legal immigrant children and pregnant women get the medical attention they need without facing a five year ban. America’s Voice hailed the passage of common sense provisions to assist legal immigrant children and pregnant women as a sign that the political climate is changing in Washington.