NDN Blog

Daily Border Bulletin: Napolitano: Border Security Tigger is a Bad Idea, U.S. Senators Tour Border, more

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Napolitano: Border Security Trigger is a Bad Idea: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano rejected the idea Tuesday that the federal government could treat a single metric of border security as a trigger that opens a pathway to citizenship in comprehensive immigration reform legislation. At a breakfast roundtable with reporters in Washington, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Napolitano acknowledged that creating a border security metric with real statistical value is an enormous challenge, and that allowing said metric to determine when undocumented immigrants could take steps toward naturalization would create too much uncertainty for people and families already in the country.

Four members of the Gang of Eight to tour US-Mexico border in Arizona: Four members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight will tour the border in Arizona on Wednesday as they rush to finish a deal on immigration reform. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will tour the Arizona-Mexico border and hold a press conference afterwards. The senators involved with the Gang of Eight have said they are on track to reach a deal on immigration reform by the end of March, and have vowed to unveil legislation when Congress returns from a two-week spring recess.

Telemundo and Univision to interview President Obama on Wednesday: President Obama will sit for a interview Wednesday with the Spanish-language network Telemundo, as the White House looks to intensify pressure on Congress to strike a bipartisan immigration deal. The network said the interview with Lori Montenegro will “focus on the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform, among other topics of interest to the Hispanic community” in a statement released Tuesday. On Monday, Obama said at a naturalization ceremony at the White House that “the time has come” to move immigration reform through Congress, and demanded the Senate begin debate on a bill “next month.


Daily Border Bulletin - New Survey Finds Majority Of Americans Back Citizenship For Immigrants, more

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

New Survey Finds Majority Of Americans Back Citizenship For Immigrants Seven Democratic senators are asking a bipartisan group of colleagues to reconsider plans to eliminate some categories of family visas as the group finalizes a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws.

The gang of seven and their push for family visas Over six in ten Americans think undocumented immigrants should be given a path to citizenship, according to a survey released Thursday by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute. The survey found that 63 percent of respondents back citizenship for those without papers, while 21 percent favor deportation. Only 14 percent, one in five, favor giving undocumented immigrants legal status but not citizenship, according to the survey.

For immigration reform, time could be of the essence As immigration reform legislation percolates in closed-door, bipartisan working groups in the House and Senate, lawmakers are approaching their self-imposed deadline of mid-April to lay out actual legislation. But, with opposition groups rallying their forces, the speed at which lawmakers can move to a vote could determine whether the legislation can make it to President Obama’s desk at all.

Daily Border Bulletin: Senate immigration deal close to Obama plan, Negotiations continue for business and labor More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Senate immigration deal close to Obama plan: The nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants would have to wait a full decade for a green card but could earn citizenship just three years after that, under a provision being finalized by a bipartisan group of eight senators working to devise an overhaul of immigration law, several people with knowledge of the negotiations  said. Taken together, the two waiting periods would provide the nation’s illegal immigrants with a path to United States citizenship in 13 years, matching the draft of a plan by President Obama to offer full participation in American democracy to millions who are living in fear of deportation.

Negotiations continue for business and labor Talks led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO over a new guest-worker program for lower-skilled immigrants are stalled, prompting members of the bipartisan group of eight senators to get personally involved to try to nudge the negotiations toward a resolution. Business and labor groups have been meeting for weeks in an attempt to put together a system that would allow employers to find foreign labor when American workers are not available and that would allow foreign workers into the country. The idea is to create a new “W” visa category for lower-skilled guest workers. No such visas exists right now, leaving a vacuum that undocumented workers have been filling.

Arizona Border More Secure Because of Enforcement Flying low along the Mexican line in a Black Hawk helicopter, the United States Border Patrol officer saw surveillance towers rising above the cactus. He saw his agents’ white and green trucks moving among the mesquite, scouting for illegal crossers. Far overhead, a remotely guided drone beamed images of the terrain to an intelligence center in Tucson. Pilots cruised in reconnaissance planes carrying radars and infrared cameras that could distinguish a migrant with a backpack from a wild animal from many miles away.

Daily Border Bulletin: House and Senate Groups Nearing Agreement On Immigration Deal, The Cost of Sealing Our U.S. Border, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Both House and Senate Groups Nearing Agreement On Immigration Deal The bipartisan group of House members that has been meeting quietly for nearly four years to discuss an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system is nearing agreement on a framework, and is briefing their respective leadership this week. On Thursday, the four Democrats in the eight-person group — Representatives Xavier Becerra of California, Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois, Zoe Lofgren of California and John Yarmuth of Kentucky — briefed Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader. The Republicans of the group — Representatives John Carter and Sam Johnson, both of Texas, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho — met with Speaker John A. Boehner on Friday.

The Cost of Sealing Our U.S. Border Last year President Obama spent $11.7 billion on security at the U.S.-Mexico border—more than any of his predecessors, according to the Migration Policy Institute. That big of an investment might make you think illegal immigrants were storming the 2,000-mile stretch of desert that separates Texas and California from Mexico, but in fact, the opposite is true. The net migration between the U.S. and Mexico last year was zero, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Roughly 150,000 people, both illegal and legal, arrived in the U.S. from Mexico, and about the same number left the U.S. to return home.

The push for high-skilled immigration reform More than 100 chief executives of major tech companies and trade associations — including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer — urged President Obama and Congress on Thursday to reform the existing immigration rules for highly-skilled workers. In a letter sent to the president and lawmakers, the tech heavyweights said the need to hire and retain skilled foreign and domestic workers is one of the top economic challenges facing the country and the existing immigration laws are a hurdle to addressing this issue. They argue that high-skilled immigrants have gone on to create companies like Google, eBay and Yahoo, which have driven job and economic growth in the United States.

NDN Backgrounder: How The Immigration Reform Landscape Has Changed Since 2005

Yesterday Simon briefed the House New Democrat Coalition, a group of 51 Members, on immigration reform and border issues. I wanted to share with you the Power Point we developed for the briefing. If you are interested in learning more about some of the issues at the heart of our current immigration debate this is a great place to start.

The presentation is called, “Immigration Reform: How The Landscape Has Changed Since the House Last Voted in 2005 - Our Border Is Safer, Our Immigration System Is Better and Mexico Is Modernizing and Growing.” You can find it here.

To learn more about the topics discussed in this presentation, be sure to read Simon’s recent Huffington Post Op-ed, “The Border is Safer, Our Immigration System is Better;” see our round-up of our most important work on these issues; and stay in touch with us via our website, 21border.com.

Daily Border Bulletin: McCain, “guardedly optimistic” on a pathway agreement, is time running out for Labor and Business, more

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Sen. McCain, “guardedly optimistic” on a pathway agreement: Three Republican senators working to craft immigration legislation in the gang of eight downplayed a report that they had reached an agreement on a pathway to legal status. The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that the eight senators “have privately agreed on the most contentious part of the draft: how to give legal status to the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.” While the senators broadly said that giving legal status to the country’s undocumented immigrants remained a top priority as laid out in their proposal unveiled earlier in the year, they denied any details had been finalized

Time is running out for Labor and Business: For months, business and labor leaders have been negotiating over a crucial aspect of immigration reform — how to handle future flows of lesser-skilled workers. But the next few weeks may determine whether the two sides can reach an agreement that could prove crucial to the greater effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Both sides have already agreed to a common set of principles, including the creation of a new visa for lesser-skilled workers who come to the U.S. for year-round work. At present, no visa category provides for that type of immigrant worker.

GOP’s Steve Pearce and The Latino Vote: Rep. Steve Pearce is the rarest of Republican Party officeholders, a very conservative Anglo who keeps winning elections from a predominantly Latino electorate. As the national GOP seeks to improve its dismal standing with Hispanic voters, the 65-year-old former oil man has some advice. “You just have to show up, all the time, everywhere,” he said, during a recent barnstorm tour of his district, which sprawls across the southern half of this border state. “Most Republicans don’t bother. I do. I bother.


Daily Border Bulletin: Obama meets with faith leaders, Border Fences and Immigration Politics, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Border Fences and Immigration Politics: The border barriers rise out of the Pacific Ocean, climb craggy California peaks, streak across Arizona desert valleys and meander through cattle ranches and fields of sorghum and citrus in South Texas. Tall steel fencing separates border communities. Camera towers and bright rows of stadium lights aim at smugglers’ enclaves in Mexico. Migrants seeking out traditional crossing routes find them blocked, and many give up.

Obama meets with faith leaders to discuss comprehensive immigration reform: President Barack Obama emphasized the need to get immigration reform accomplished this year in a meeting with a diverse group of faith leaders at the White House on Friday. Religious leaders that attended the meeting said the president spent more than an hour with them, and after making a few remarks at the top of the meeting he let each group discuss their priorities and problems with comprehensive immigration reform. During the discussion, these faith leaders said, Obama made it clear that he wanted to see a bill on immigration reform in the next 60 days.

President Obama to nominate Thomas Perez as new Labor Secretary: President Obama intends to tap the nation’s top civil rights enforcer as the new secretary of Labor, a choice seen Sunday as an opportunity to raise the department’s profile as the White House tackles immigration reform. The expected nomination of Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, would make him the only Latino in the Cabinet at this point in Obama’s second term.

Daily Border Bulletin: Survey shows support for immigration reform growing among Republican voters, More

Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Survey shows support for immigration reform growing among Republican voters: A new blockbuster survey by the noted Republican survey research firm McLaughlin and Associates reveals a stunning reversal of opinion by Republican voters on the issue of immigration reform. Where once there was hardened opposition to such legislation, a national sample of 500 self-described likely Republican voters shows broad support now emerging for the measure. Asked about an immigration reform proposal that would “grant illegal immigrants legal status and a green card and then, after a wait of several years, they could apply for citizenship if they pay back taxes, pay a fine, learn English and have no criminal record,” Republicans were supportive 66 percent to 30 percent.

The Dilemma Over Immigration Reform: High-Skilled vs Low-Skilled Workers: For years, the phrase “immigration reform” has meant two things for Republicans: a contest to see who could be toughest on the 11 million people living in the United States who aren’t supposed to be, and a flood of proposals to fortify the nation’s borders. For Democrats, the term has meant some form of legalization for undocumented workers and an easier mechanism for getting into the country legally. That’s still true to a great extent. But in the time since Congress’s last encounter with the issue, business leaders have been raising concerns about a deficit of high-skilled workers. And that’s transforming how the immigration debate is playing out.

Schumer: No standalone bill for high-skilled immigrants: Senator Charles Schumer, a member of a bipartisan group crafting comprehensive U.S. immigration reform, urged technology firms on Tuesday to stop lobbying for a standalone bill on high-skilled immigrants, saying such narrow legislation would not pass. “You will not get a bill unless there’s a full immigration bill,” the New York Democrat said at an event hosted by the Internet Alliance lobby group. “The best thing you can do now is not lobby on the high-skilled end.

Simon To Speak At Trilateral Border Issues Symposium At Arizona State University

NDN and The New Policy Institute, President and Founder Simon Rosenberg will be speaking at the Tri Lateral Border Issues Conference at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona.

With the recent issuance by the Department of Homeland Security of the Northern Border Strategy a number of border issues have been framed that this symposium will examine in the context of Canada-United States-Mexico trade and security.

The symposium will bring together academics, practitioners, business groups and government officials from the three NAFTA countries to examine and evaluate cross-border trade challenges to the Arizona business community.

Setting the Stage - The Issues

Simon will be speaking on a panel which will examine the three nation’s efforts to work simultaneously on robust programs of border security and international trade in the current context of political transition in the U.S. and Mexico as well as the ongoing and much broader discussions on the Trans Pacific Partnership.


David Fransen, Consul General of Canada, in Los Angeles


Thomas d’Aquino, Canada Co-Chair, North American Forum and CEO, Intercounsel Ltd.
Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State
Sergio Alcocer Martínez de Castro, Undersecretary for North America, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs


Simon Rosenberg, President, New Policy Institute

Daily Border Bulleting: Jeb Bush flip-flops on a pathway to citizenship, Immigration is priority No. 1 for Napolitano, More

Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:

Immigration is priority No. 1 for Janet Napolitano: Immigration reform is the “No. 1” legislative priority for the Department of Homeland Security this year, trumping cybersecurity issues, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday at a POLITICO Playbook breakfast. “…I would say, frankly, that our No. 1 priority in terms of legislation is immigration,” Napolitano told POLITICO’s Mike Allen at a breakfast marking the 10th anniversary of the agency.

Rick Perry calls agency move “federally sponsored jailbreak:” Texas Gov. Rick Perry is blasting the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement’s release of illegal immigrants to offset automatic budget costs, calling it a “federally sponsored jailbreak.” “Aside from allowing this federally sponsored jailbreak to occur, ICE has also failed to provide any information regarding the number of detainees released, their countries of origin, locations where these individuals have been released and the reasons they were detained — despite repeated requests from my office,” the former GOP presidential candidate said in a public statement on Monday.

Jeb Bush flip-flops on a pathway to citizenship: In late January, Jeb Bush wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he seemed to endorse a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and criticized members of his own party who think “illegal immigrants should return to their native countries and wait in line like everyone else.” He argued that, for most illegal immigrants — those without a relative in the country and without access to the limited number of work-based visas — “no line exists.” Discussing his new book “Immigration Wars” on NBC’s Today, he confirmed that he only favors a path to legal residency, not citizenship. “Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward,” he said. “And if we want to create an immigration policy that’s going to work, we can’t continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration.”


Syndicate content