The Senate is considering a bill to rewrite the Education and Secondary Education Act. While we support these efforts, the bill in its current form falls short in a crucial area: accountability. Robust accountability must be included in a final rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act if we are to live up to the collective promise of ensuring quality education for all kids. Read the letter the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda sent to Congress, which we signed.
This week in immigration reform: California’s state budget leads the way on immigrant integration; helpful tips for DACA renewals; and this weekend marks the two year anniversary of the Senate passing bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
California state budget is an example for others states and the U.S. Congress to follow: California Governor Jerry Brown signed a state budget that will make significant investments in California’s families. Included in the budget are important measures that are examples of successful integration of immigrants and lift up working families. For example, the budget which begins next month creates a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families. During our recent California Latino Advocacy Day, representatives from NCLR Affiliates met with lawmakers to show their support for AB 43, the EITC bill. The state legislature also made history when it included $40 million to expand the state’s Medi-Cal program to undocumented children. It is estimated that 170,000 young people under 19 years old could qualify for the expansion. Speaking at a news conference, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon said, “We are the first legislative body—we are the first state in the union—to invest in children without legal status. With this budget, we’re saying that immigrants matter, irrespective of who you are or where you’re from.” Another laudable measure is the wise investment in community-based education, outreach, and application assistance for both deportation relief and naturalization that will advance immigrant inclusion and prosperity across the state.
USCIS shares helpful tips for successful DACA renewals: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently shared helpful tips to ensure that the DACA renewal process goes smoothly for everyone. More than 600,000 individuals have received an initial two year grant of deferred status and a work permit that is renewable. USCIS is mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days before the expiration date of their current period of deferred action to ensure sufficient time to prepare renewal requests. Individuals who have a pending renewal request and want to check on the status of the renewal after it has been pending for more than 105 days can visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833). Help spread the word about DACA renewals by sharing our blog post with more tips.
Two years ago this Saturday, the Senate passed bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation: This Saturday, June 27 marks the two year anniversary of the Senate overwhelmingly voting in favor of passing immigration reform legislation. The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives never allowed for any votes on comprehensive immigration reform bills, so the prospects of a version of the senate bill getting to the president’s desk came to an end at the close of the 113th Congress. Our colleagues at the Center for American Progress published a report highlighting all the ways that our country would benefit if the House of Representatives had acted to pass legislation. “So what would the country look like today had S. 744 become the law of the land? Put simply, millions of people would be on their way to permanent legal status and citizenship, thousands of families across the nation would be together, and the U.S. economy would see significant gains.”
Earlier today, Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took to the Senate floor to highlight the third anniversary of DACA. Sen. Kaine’s speech included Hareth Andrade’s story, which we featured in our “Living the American DREAM” blog series.
Watch their speeches below.
Latinos were instrumental in the 2012 reelection of President Obama, solidifying their crucial role in the national political landscape as a powerful voting bloc. In the election’s aftermath, Democrats and Republicans both expressed the will to do more outreach and work on legislative priorities close to the Latino community, particularly immigration reform.
Yet two years later, while the Senate has made significant progress by passing a bipartisan immigration bill, House Republican leadership has squandered the best opportunity our country has had in a generation.
To ensure that elected officials understand our community will hold them accountable for their inaction on immigration reform, we initiated a significant voter registration effort aimed at thousands of Latinos in key states. Maximizing the power of the Latino vote will require us to look at new ways to engage the community, including through digital tools. At the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference Blogger Meetup in Los Angeles, we’ll delve deeper into what this means as we head into the midterm elections and toward 2016.
This Blogger Meetup is on Saturday, July 19, from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. in Concourse 153 A-B of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Moderator: Jonathan Marrero, Senior Manager, Digital, NCLR
Jimmy Hernandez, Communications Director, Voto Latino
Clarissa Martinez de Castro, Deputy Vice President, Policy, NCLR
Matthew McClellan, Executive Director, NCLR Action Fund
The meetup will feature a Q&A and will cover:
- The scope of our civic engagement efforts and collaboration with sister organizations
- Voter ID laws and the challenges they pose for our community and our own registration efforts
- How we can use digital to increase voter turnout and connect our community to not just elections but the issues they care about
- What successful and culturally sensitive digital strategies for engaging Latinos look like
We’ll see you in Los Angeles!
What to Watch This Week:
The House is in recess this week, returning Monday, June 9.
The Senate returns from its recess Monday afternoon to consider a number of pending judicial and executive nominations, including Sylvia Matthews Burwell’s confirmation to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. While much of the week will be devoted to nominations, it is possible that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will take-up a bill making it easier to dismiss Veterans Affairs officials for misconduct. It is also possible later in the week Senate Leadership will bring to the floor legislation that would permit recreational hunting and fishing in federal wilderness areas (S. 2363).
On Monday, the president will speak on a conference call in the afternoon on the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulemaking to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Later in the evening, he will depart for Warsaw, Poland. On Tuesday morning, President Obama will arrive in Warsaw, where he and President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland will have an opportunity at the airport to meet with U.S. and Polish airmen who are supporting an aviation mission based at Lask Air Base. Following this event, the president will travel to Belweder Palace to take part in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with President Komorowski. In the afternoon, the president will travel to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister to participate in a bilateral meeting and deliver statements to the press with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Later, he will go to the Presidential Palace to co-host with President Komorowski a meeting with Central and Eastern European leaders. In the evening, the president will attend a Solidarity Dinner at the Royal Castle. On Wednesday, President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with President-elect Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and then travel to the Royal Castle to take an official family photo with leaders attending the Freedom Day event, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first partially free election. At the Royal Castle, Mr. Obama will deliver remarks commemorating Freedom Day. In the afternoon, he will fly to Brussels, Belgium. In the evening, the president will travel to the Royal Palace of Brussels to meet with King Philippe of Belgium. Afterward, he will attend the 2014 G-7 Summit, which will begin with a leaders working dinner on foreign policy issues. On Thursday, the president will participate in G-7 meetings on the global economy and energy and climate issues and a G-7 working lunch on development. G-7 leaders will also take a traditional “family photo.” In the afternoon, President Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. In the evening, the president will travel to Paris, where he will have dinner with President Hollande and remain overnight. On Friday, the president will travel to Normandy, France, to deliver remarks at Omaha Beach for the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. In the afternoon, he will travel to Sword Beach to attend a leaders lunch hosted by President Hollande and then attend the Ouistreham International Ceremony. In the evening, President Obama will depart France en route to Washington. Continue reading