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Latest on Immigration Reform

If each month is considered a round in the battle for immigration reform, it's fair to say that we won the month of June. But, it was a close fight for sure. From the beginning of the month when Senate Majority Leader Reid, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and President of the U.S. Obama, all reasserted their support for immigration reform as a top 3 issue priority, to the end of the month when the President hosted a meeting on immigration with key members of the House and Senate, it's fair to say that the momentum is building for the debate and seemingly favoring our position.

According to reports from the June 25 meeting at the White House, the President was clear about his desire to get comprehensive reform done. The meeting did not get in to details about what would be included in a comprehensive reform package; it was more about the politics, and the need for both parties to work on this together. In terms of a time line, debate on legislation should begin later this year or early next year, with both the House and the Senate working on the bill at the same time.

The President, in his remarks after the meeting, said his administration “is fully behind an effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform,” which includes an “effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here.” DHS Secretary Napolitano has been assigned to lead a working group, to meet with leaders in the House and the Senate to start “systematically working through” the various issues making up the elements of reform.

But, the month of June was not all flowers and rainbows in the world of immigration policy and politics. Trusted sources told us today that several anti-immigration amendments are expected to be offered during next week's Senate debate over the DHS Appropriations bill. We absolutely must be ready to Contact Congress next week. The anti-immigrant crowd managed to send nearly 700,000 faxes to Washington during the month of June. We must Contact Congress to express support for real solutions to our broken system, not quick "get tough" enforcement measures. Watch your inboxes next week for action alerts from the AILA Advocacy Dept and follow the links to send messages to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Sen. John Cornyn!

In the world of immigration regulations another June victory is to be celebrated: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued proposed regulations to end the long-standing ban on travel and immigration to the United States by HIV-positive individuals. The regulations, which are expected to be implemented following a 45-day public comment period, would remove HIV from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance.”

Tomorrow will mark the first day of the next round in the battle for immigration reform. The upcoming Senate debate on DHS Appropriations is going to test our strength as advocates and measure our will to win the round. We can and must show our strength with our united voice. We can and must win.

Tune in next week, same Pulse channel, same Pulse time.

Written By

Jenny Levy
Manager, Grassroots Advocacy
Special Contributor to the Director's Corner
American Immigration Lawyers Association

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