As I've been working on immigration reform legislation, I've been asked why it should be Washington's focus at a time when we have so many other pressing concerns, including stagnant economic growth that has left millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, and the persistent threat of terrorism that recently manifested itself on our own soil.
There's no doubt we have a broken immigration system and de facto amnesty that can't continue because it threatens America's sovereignty, security and economy. It's a problem that needs to be solved, and the longer we put it off, the worse it's going to get.
But it's also absolutely true that our lack of robust economic growth, caused in part by Washington's runaway debt, is the real defining issue of our time. These challenges should have been addressed a long time ago but, because Washington hasn't made any meaningful attempt to do so, our debt has only gotten worse, and more of our people have suffered. more >>
Left-leaning evangelical leader and same-sex marriage supporter Jim Wallace warned on Wednesday that tangling gay rights with immigration reform legislation currently being debated in the Senate would be the wrong thing to do at this time, and gay rights advocates are not happy with his comments.
"I support equal protection under the law but I think this is the wrong place in the wrong time to try and resolve this contentious issue. This must be a bipartisan bill. Our focus must be on the 11 million undocumented and vulnerable people who this is their time, their chance, this is their moment," said Wallis, who is also president and CEO of Sojourners.
His statement came during a half hour press call with leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), which launched their "Pray for Reform" campaign on Wednesday that calls for the passage of new immigration reform legislation in 92 days. more >>
The evangelical "Pray for Reform: 92 Days of Prayer and Action to Pass Immigration Reform" campaign called on Congress in a press call on Wednesday to pass meaningful legislation in the next 92 days, throwing further support behind the current momentum in Congress to finally pass a immigration reform bill.
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, explained in the press call that the number 92 is significant for evangelicals because the Hebrew word for immigration is mentioned 92 times in the Old Testament
"This number represents the biblical call to welcome the stranger. I'm convinced that we stand on the edge of the Jordan called 'immigration reform.' On the other side lies the promised land of integration, secured borders and safer communities," Rodriguez said. more >>
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and the Heritage Foundation are now at odds over a study released by the foundation on Monday that calculates that the cost of an immigration reform proposal partly authored by Rubio would add $6.3 trillion to America's deficit.
The immigration reform proposal hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators, including Rubio, offers a 13-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and is expected to begin the Senate Judiciary Committee markup process on Thursday.
According to the calculations presented in the Heritage Foundation's study, the proposal is expected to amass a "lifetime fiscal deficit" of at least $6.3 trillion. These calculations are based on the assumption that immigrants would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services but only pay $3.1 trillion in taxes. more >>
As the Senate's "gang of eight" works to enact a sweeping immigration reform bill proposing a 13-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a recent Gallup poll is showing that the nation is almost equally divided in its opposition and support for the bill.
For the most part, however, Americans are uncertain what to make of it. A majority haven't even been paying close attention to the discussions of the bill.
Results of the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and released last Wednesday, shows that 33 percent of Americans favor immigration reform while 28 percent oppose it. A majority, some 38 percent, say they don't know what to think of the legislation. more >>
The immigration reform bill proposed by the Senate's "gang of eight" would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank and advocacy organization. Critics of the report charge that it fails to take into account the benefits to the economy that immigration reform would bring.
The report estimates that, if enacted, formerly unauthorized immigrants would pay $3.1 trillion in taxes but receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits over their lifetime. Those costs include government programs for the poor (such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), public education, population-based services (such as police, fire, roads and parks), and retirement benefits (Social Security and Medicare).
The report takes into account the highly redistributive nature of the U.S. government. High income earners pay more in taxes than they receive in government benefits while low income earners receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes. Since most unauthorized immigrants are not college educated, the report reasons, they will receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes. more >>