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Stop SB 176
An Ohio Senate committee began hearings November 11 on SB 176, Senator Bill Seitz’s legislation that would deny Worker’s Comp. benefits to any “illegal or unauthorized aliens.” (It will be at least a couple weeks before there’ll be an opportunity for opponent testimony.) Anyone interested in testifying against SB 176 should contact Michael R. Smalz, Senior Attorney Ohio Poverty Law Center Columbus, Ohio 43215 Phone: 614-824-2502
For Immediate Release: Contact: Michael Earls
July 10, 2013 202-261-2388
Why Immigration Reform Can Become Law This Year
Washington, DC – As immigration reform advocates, we’re used to the pessimism of “conventional wisdom” and we’re used to conventional wisdom being wrong. Rahm Emanuel once said that immigration reform was the “third rail of American politics,” yet the illegal immigration wedge strategy was a bust in every recent election. Tom Tancredo made it his pet issue, left Congress to run for President and Governor, and failed at both. After drafting the state’s “show me your papers” anti-immigration law, Arizona State senator Russell Pearce was recalled from office and lost again in his comeback bid. Now he runs a website.
But perhaps the most cataclysmic example of conventional wisdom being wrong resides with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. After years of being told it wasn’t possible, DREAMers and their allies finally achieved this momentous victory in June 2012, when President Obama decided to extend these talented young people a work permit and a measure of stability until Congress acts. The political class said it wasn’t going to happen, but the DREAMers defied conventional wisdom and proved everyone wrong.
In 2013, broad, bipartisan immigration reform with a path to citizenship cleared the Senate with an historic 68-32 vote. The only thing standing between this and a Rose Garden signing ceremony are House Republican leaders, who have a decision to make. Do they follow the path taken in the Senate and allow a bipartisan majority to speak, or let the extremists in their caucus paralyze them and imperil their own political futures in the process?
Here are just a few reasons why we believe that “conventional wisdom” on immigration will prove to be wrong once again this year:
· Republicans NEED to pass immigration reform for the future of their party—in 2014 and beyond. With a series of polls showing majority support in favor of reform and with an ever-growing pro-immigration movement ready to deliver, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his Republican caucus have reason to be concerned about what will happen if reform fails. A series of Latino Decisions tracking polls continue to show that immigration reform is a top priority issue for Latino voters (see Latino Decisions polls from March and June of this year). And as their latest analysis shows, immigration will impact at least 14 Republican incumbents in the 2014 election cycle and more in 2016 as the Latino voting population continues to grow. But it’s not just Latino Voters that House Republicans should be concerned about. New Public Policy Polling (PPP) polling in seven swing congressional districts shows broad popular support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship, even among Republican and Independent voters. It’s clear that what Republicans do in 2013 will influence electoral outcomes in 2014, and set the stage for 2016 and beyond. As Americans for Tax Reform Founder Grover Norquist said, “The business communities want it. The communities of faith want it. The political consultant class, which tells you what the Republican Party needs, wants it. Even if you can get re-elected in your monochromatic House district, you don’t get to govern” if immigration blocks a path to the White House.
· There is already a majority in the House of Representatives that supports reform. As various target lists show, reform supporters in the House far outnumber opponents. According to the Huffington Post’s target list, there are 192 members who are a “likely yes” as compared to 104 who are a “likely no.” And according to a list published by Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, the votes of nearly 100 Republicans could be in play. It would only take a handful from that list to make 218 in the House and history for the GOP.
· Republican voters support the same policy approach as Latinos. Despite the fears that a “yes” vote in favor of reform will alienate the Republican base, a range of polling demonstrates that a majority of Republican voters – even those who show up in the primaries – support comprehensive immigration reform. New polling of Republican primary voters, released by Americans for a Conservative Direction and conducted by Basswood Research, finds, per Huffington Post, “Most of the voters surveyed in this poll — 70 percent — said they are open to a bill that bolsters border security resources, requires employers to check on potential hires’ legal status and allows undocumented immigrants eventually to gain citizenship. If border security is coupled with legalization, 65 percent of Republican voters said they would support a path to citizenship, according to the poll.”
· The GOP can improve their prospects with Latino voters, but first they have to deliver on immigration reform. The Republican Party has a real opportunity to improve their changes with Latino and the general public if they embrace reform. As a June Latino Decisions poll showed, immigration is a motivating issue for Latino voters, with 34% of Latino voters more likely to vote for the GOP if they work to pass immigration reform and 59% less likely to vote for the GOP if they try to block it. The same poll showed that 52% said they would be more favorable to the Republican Party if they pass immigration reform, even if they disagree on other issues. This includes 55% of prior GOP voters, 47% of Democrats and 60% of Independents. Additionally, as yesterday’s PPP poll showed, per Politico, “Voters also said they were less likely to support Republican candidates in general next year if the GOP House members block the current immigration reform proposal.” The Republican leadership has a clear choice to make: pass reform and share credit for doing so or keep the dysfunctional status quo and further tarnish it’s already damaged brand with the fastest growing groups of voters in America.
Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice
America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform
May 2013: Would you fast to end deportations? Nuns on the Bus & More. Click the link for full details.
As the push for compassionate immigration reform gains momentum, many of our partners are engaging our communities in creative ways to build this movement for justice. Learn about NDLON’s Not 1 More Deportation Campaign & National Fast, the Gamaliel Network’s Church Basement Hearings on Immigration, and the “Nuns on the Bus” Tour for Immigration Reform! And please, if you haven’t already, sign up with the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign for Compassionate Immigration for an advocacy visit with your representatives. Lastly, ACLU has put together a great graphic flyer for immigrants explaining what the proposed immigration reform bill does and doesn’t contain. Si se puede!
CINCINNATI CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS IMMIGRANT FRIENDLY RESOLUTION
Click here for the March 7 Resolution
MODEL IMMIGRANT FRIENDLY RESOLUTION FOR OHIO CITIES and VILLAGES
Adapted from the Cincinnati Resolution by Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO).
EXPRESSING City Council’s commitment to improve the lives of immigrants in our community by promoting their public safety, family unity, healthy work environments, and greater participation in all aspects of the city; and
RECOGNIZING their many contributions and innovations to the local economy; and
ENCOURAGING the citizens of the City of _____________ to foster civility and respect for immigrants.
WHEREAS, many service workers, advocates, and policy makers who work directly with immigrants have seen the need that administrative procedures and public policies be crafted such that the rule of law is applied fairly to immigrants, so that their families remain together and as workers they can continue to contribute to America’s economy, by building a stronger economy for the City, County and the State of Ohio.
WHEREAS, absent national Comprehensive Immigration Reform, faith-based and other organizations favor local action to welcome immigrant students, professionals, workers and their families, while maintaining the rule of law in the spirit of the United States of America’s call to inclusion “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of many, one”), and encourage law enforcement agencies to use discretion when applying the rule of law.
WHEREAS, the Police Department must respond when undocumented immigrants and their families have been victims of crime and abuse. While caught in the middle of a broken federal immigration system, our officers must use sensible discretion towards such victims to promote safety in our city, and to seek emergency services and justice for these victims, and to build trust with our growing immigrant communities.
WHEREAS, more U-Visas creating a path to citizenship would also protect immigrants who are victims or witnesses of a crime so they can assist law enforcement officers in pursuing justice against offenders.
BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of _________________________ calls on the United States Congress and the Administration to pass and enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year that includes a path to citizenship; and encourages the City of ___________, other local governments in the state, and the Ohio General Assembly to promote initiatives to welcome the participation of immigrants more fully in the vitality of the state and our respective communities.
UUs for Immigrant Friendly Cities
UUJO representatives from Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus launched a statewide campaign UUs for Immigrant Friendly Cities and Villages at the February 18 Immigration Workshop in Delaware, Ohio.
Since Oct. 2011 the “Welcome Dayton” action plan has brought national recognition to one Ohio city as immigrant friendly. UUs in Cincinnati have now joined an interfaith coalition lobbying for City Council adoption of an immigrant friendly resolution.
UUJO encourages its Congregational and individual members throughout the state to bring the campaign for immigrant friendly resolutions to Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Kent, Youngstown, Toledo and smaller cities.
Interfaith immigrant coalitions and secular organizations like the ACLU active at the state level may also have local projects that would benefit from UU partners. If not, then activist UUs could take the lead in recruiting other groups in a collaborative lobbying effort. See the draft model resolution and for additional campaign information from the UUJO Immigration Working Group.
National Immigration Reform
A Webinar on Breaking Bread & Building Bridges
Date + Time: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 8:00 p.m. EST
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC), a national coalition of faith communities, has a new campaign called BREAKING BREAD AND BUILDING BRIDGES that will be part of the push for immigration reform at the federal level, but will also take into account the importance of building collective power at the local level and working on local immigration issues.
More information can also be found here.
Sign up to join the webinar.
Rev. Craig C. Roshaven?, UUA Witness Ministries Director
Draft Statement of Conscience
The UUA Commission on Social Witness has issued a Draft Immigration SOC. http://www.uua.org/immigration/re/moral/152647.shtml.
The draft statement and a ballot to place the SOC on the agenda of GA 2013 will be included in the annual congregational poll, conducted with annual membership certification.
February 1, 2013: Deadline for congregational poll ballots (a quorum of 25% participation required).
February 1, 2013: Deadline for submission of comments on the draft SOC. The CSW then prepares a revised draft of the SOC on Immigration, and places this revised draft on the Final GA Agenda.
General Assembly 2013: General Assembly considers the SOC. Approval requires 2/3 vote. The Assembly may also vote to refer the statement for an additional year of study. If approved, congregations and UUA staff conduct a year of implementation and action. The next study/action issue will be selected at GA in 2012.
Mark Your Calendar: February 18, 2013
The New Administration and Immigration Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, OH With The Rev. Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. http://www.ohiomeadville.org/omdevents/548-immigration2013
Workshop Sponsored by: Central Ohio Immigrant Justice, Church World Service, Catholic Latino Ministry, Cleveland Faith Immigration, Community Refugee Immigrations Services, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Ohio Action Circle, Ohio Council of Churches, Ohio Voice, Ohio Meadville District of the Unitarian Universalist Association
Immigrant and Human Rights Advocates Denounce Anti-Immigrant Arizona-like Ohio HB 580 11/14/12
Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Immigrant rights organizations, human rights advocates, faith leaders, students and undocumented community members stand together to denounce House Bill 580, the Arizona-like bill sponsored by Rep. Combs. The bill will have a sponsor hearing Wednesday Nov 14th at 4:00 PM. The bill is before the House Transportation, Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee.
“I can’t believe this is happening in Ohio. This is not where the national sentiment is as far as immigrant rights and the move toward immigration reform, something is very wrong here”, stated Maritza Motino from LULAC Ohio.
The bill’s primary focus is the right for police officers to use “reasonable suspicion that an individual is an alien” and brings the same civil rights concerns to Ohio which has played out as racial profiling in states like Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and others.
“This is old story thinking from old story minds such as that of Representative Courtney Combs,” stated community organizer and immigrant rights advocate, Ruben Castilla Herrera, “Frankly, as far as I’m concerned it’s the reintroduction of a bill based on ignorance, xenophobia and fear of the other,” he continued.
In the wake of the 2012 elections, which saw record levels of turnout among Latino voters, representatives of the Ohio Action Circle feel that Ohio’s elected officials should be working to find common ground for a real solution to the broken immigration system.
“It’s encouraging that Republicans and Democrats alike are now discussing the importance of passing legislation that provides opportunities for immigrants, whether it’s Congress working on a path to citizenship or Senate Bill 357 here in Ohio, which would provide equal access to education for undocumented children,” said Nick Torres of DREAMActivist Ohio. “Unfortunately, Representative Combs has long advocated for these sorts of punitive, divisive bills which move our state backwards,” he added.
The Ohio Action Circle remains committed to working with advocates across the State to push for policies that benefit Latinos and the immigrant communities throughout Ohio while speaking out against anti-immigrant legislation.
Contact: Nick Torres email@example.com (419) 302-0511
League of United American Citizens (LULAC) Ohio
Central Ohio Immigrant Justice
Ohio Action Circle
Ohio Fair Food
Interfaith Immigration CoalitionShare on Facebook