Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 18

Federal Legislation. Despite the federal government’s focus on budget and debt ceiling concerns, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives last week announced introduction of a bill similar to S. 744 which the Senate adopted last June. This House bill, however, does not include the problematic border security provisions. The House bill currently has only Democrats as co-sponsors and is not likely to be taken up by committees in the Republican controlled House. We do not anticipate action on any immigration bills in the House until early in 2014, at the earliest.

Administrative Activity. The shutdown of many federal agencies affects immigration but most enforcement actions will continue unabated. The administration continues to deport approximately 1,100 people a day and, despite requests by advocacy groups seeking to protect family integrity, the administration is unwilling to slow the deportation process. Consular services for U.S. citizens and visa applicants continue to operate at this time but visa processing for foreign nationals will be curtailed and may affect foreign nationals planning to leave the United States and then return. The E-verify system which must be accessed by many employers under Georgia law will not be operational during the shutdown.

Advocacy. Each of us must continue contacting members of the House of Representatives so that they will take action to reform the broken immigration process. Please encourage others to contact their members of Congress to support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, through the Justice for Immigrants website:http://justiceforimmigrants.org/index.shtml

The Justice for Immigrants website also includes links to statements by bishops across the country in support of reform.

I can provide additional information on request.