This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending June 20

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Week Ending June 20, 2014

This week in immigration reform: House Republicans elect Kevin McCarthy as Majority Leader to replace the outgoing Eric Cantor; Jersey Vargas, the young advocate for immigration reform who recently met the Pope, stops by NCLR headquarters; a diverse set of local leaders, newspapers, and business owners call on Congress to give America a vote on reform; and Congressional leaders respond to the crisis of children fleeing violence in Central America.

–House GOP elects Rep. Kevin McCarthy as new Majority Leader.  Following Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) primary election loss and decision to resign as House Majority Leader, the House GOP gathered on Thursday June 19th to choose a new Majority Leader. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) won the election and will assume the role of Majority Leader once Rep. Cantor steps down. The House then selected Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to replace McCarthy as Majority Whip.

NCLR joins with national Latino and Asian American-Pacific Islander leaders in urging the new Majority Leader to schedule a vote on immigration reform. McCarthy represents a district that is 35 percent Latino and 5 percent Asian American-Pacific Islander, and his constituents are mostly farmworkers.  Immigration reform matters for his district, for the country, and for the future of the party he leads.  If Majority Leader McCarthy fails to set a date for a vote on immigration reform, voters will hold him responsible for killing America’s best chance for a long-term solution.

Share NCLR’s graphic on Facebook and urge the new Majority Leader to schedule a vote on immigration reform:

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Young advocate for immigration reform visits with NCLR.   Jersey Vargas, the courageous young advocate who recently asked Pope Francis to help save her father from deportation, visited Washington this week to meet with Congressional leaders and further make the case for immigration reform. NCLR was honored to have her join us at our headquarters, where she met with our President and CEO, Janet Murguía. If you haven’t yet, check out Jersey’s story: http://huff.to/1ngMuQW.

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–Local leaders, newspapers, business owners across the nation call for action on reform.  This week witnessed a number of local leaders, business owners, and newspapers across the country urging Congress to cease dawdling and get to work on immigration reform.  Op-ed writers in the South Carolina Courier-Journal and the Arizona Republic, along with editorials in the Fresno Bee, Washington’s News Tribune, and the South Bend Tribune, all urged Congress to give America a vote on reform.

In Ohio, a farmer wrote to the Columbus Dispatch this week to express his concern with Congress’ lack of inaction on reform, describing the labor shortages he and other farmers suffer due to our outdated immigration system.

On Tuesday June 17 the Alliance for a Just Society held a panel in Washington, D.C. on how Congress’ ongoing refusal to act on immigration reform is hurting rural and small town communities.  Members of the panel included city councilmembers from Pueblo, Colorado, Mayor John Bechtel of Wilder, Idaho, and an Oregon business owner. In anticipation of the event, Mayor Bechtel published a blog with The Hill where he described the lack of action on immigration reform as “bad policy for rural America… [and] bad politics.”

Finally, Rupert Murdoch, media tycoon and Chairman and CEO of News Corp., published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Immigration Reform Can’t Wait,” while Greg Brown, Chairman of Motorola, argued for reform on economic grounds in Roll Call.

–Congressional leaders respond to the crisis of children fleeing violence in Central America.  On Thursday, June 19 Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Dick Durbin, (D-Ill), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), presented options to address the hemispheric refugee crisis on the Southern border and in Central America. The plan outlines appropriate responses to a crisis of children fleeing violence and rightly focuses on what is in the best interest for the children.

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