Advocacy Updates

Representative Gowdy of South Carolina Named Immigration Subcommittee Chair

Posted on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina was chosen as the chairman of the House's immigration subcommittee on Tuesday. Gowdy currently serves on the subcommittee, which considers an array of immigration issues including border security, immigration policy, naturalization, admission of refugees, and international agreements and treaties. Chairman-elect of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), stated "as Chairman of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, Representative Gowdy will play a leading role on immigration reform which is a top


Panel Seeks Common Ground in Fixing our Broken Immigration System

Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 15:16 pm

On December 5th, Human Rights First hosted a panel discussion at the Newseum in Washington, DC that presented a range of views on what is needed to reform the nation's immigration system. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Thomas F. McLarty of McLarty Associates, James W. Ziglar of the Migration Policy Institute, and Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations participated in the event. Thomas McLarty noted that irregular crossings at the U.S.-Mexico


UNHCR and Open Society Institute Release Report on Statelessness in the U.S.

Posted on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 15:11 pm

On December 10th, the Open Society Justice Initiative and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hosted "Stateless Individuals in the United States: Vulnerable People with a Simple Solution," during which they released their joint report on statelessness in the United States. The report includes a list of over 20 recommendations for the White House; Congress; and the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security to address and end statelessness in the U.S. Read the report.


House Passes STEM Bill

Posted on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 at 16:28 pm

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 6429), which would create a visa program for graduates of science, technology, engineering, and math post-secondary education programs by taking visas from the Diversity Visa Lottery program. "It pains me greatly that I cannot support this bill," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who said that the bill would eventually result in fewer visas issued because far fewer than 50,000 degrees are given every year to


Congressional Hispanic Congress Releases Immigration Principles

Posted on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 at 16:20 pm

Last Wednesday the Congressional Hispanic Caucus held a press conference to release a nine-point list of principles they say must be part of any immigration overhaul. The first principle is a "path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship" for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Other proposed principles include prioritizing family unity, permanent relief for DREAMers, strengthening the economy through STEM jobs, ensuring smart and reasonable enforcement, establishing a workable employment verification system, and providing legal


House to Consider STEM Jobs Act

Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 15:50 pm

This week the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 6429), which would create a visa program for graduates of science, technology, engineering, and math post-secondary education programs by taking visas from the Diversity Visa Lottery program. The House failed to pass similar legislation in September. Since then, House Republicans amended the legislation and added a provision to allow spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents to wait in the


Advocates Convene in Washington to Strategize about Immigration

Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 15:49 pm

Next week HIAS will participate in the National Immigration Forum's national strategy session and advocacy day in Washington, DC. The event will feature a wide array of speakers from across the country and across the political spectrum, including Attorney General Mark Shurtleff of Utah, Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rich Stolz of One America, and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Advocates from the faith, business, and law enforcement communities will strategize


Updated DACA Numbers Released

Posted on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released updated statistics about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. New data shows that 300,000 requests for deferred action have been submitted and 53,273 individuals have been granted relief under this new policy. The new data does not indicate how many beneficiaries have received work permits under the program or whether any requests for deferred action had been denied. At the rate of processing applications, it is likely that more


Republican Senators Propose Alternative to the DREAM Act

Posted on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Last week, Senator Kay Hutchinson (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) put forward the ACHIEVE Act, which would offer legal status for certain eligible undocumented youth. This proposal is similar to the bill that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) worked on last summer as an alternative to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which has been championed for over a decade by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Most notable, the new proposal differs from the DREAM Act in that


Urge Congress to Pass VAWA

Posted on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

As Congress reconvened last week in Washington, advocates around the country have been urging legislators to finally reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Earlier this year, the Senate and House passed conflicting versions of the bill. Please take a moment to ask your elected officials to pass the Senate version of VAWA, which maintains programs and services for immigrant survivors of sexual and domestic violence, as opposed to the House version, which would roll back these protections.


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