Republican Talking Points on Immigration Reform

House Republican Immigration Resource KitBefore leaving for August recess, Republican members of the House received this document from the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). According to Rep. Goodlatte, the document was was put together to help members communicate to their constituents “the importance of immigration reform and the House Republican plan to produce solutions that actually fix the problems that plague our immigration system.” The document summarizes the individual immigration bills the House Judiciary has passed this session, as well as a list of concerns about the Senate comprehensive bill. (For those of you involved in adult education or English/Civics instruction, while not mentioned specifically, I think it is safe to say you are probably considered part of the “slush fund” mentioned in “Concern #10.”)

According to some sources, there hasn’t been a lot of activity on either side of the immigration debate during the break, so how I don’t how important these talking points have turned out to be, but I thought the document was interesting to read.

CIRbrief-2013House-SenateBills-Side-by-SideIf you are looking for a less partisan comparison between the Senate comprehensive bill and what the House has produced so far, the Migration Policy Institute has published a helpful side-by-side comparison.

I’m long past my own self-imposed deadline for posting an update on immigration reform  from an adult education perspective—which I’ll try to do this week—but in the meantime I thought I’d pass these documents along.

White House State-by-State Fact Sheets on the Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform

Last Friday, the White House published a set of fact sheets for every state (but not, frustratingly, the District of Columbia) on the economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform, based more-or-less on the types of reforms that were included in the Senate bill that passed in July. Economic benefits cited by the administration include “increasing workers’ wages and generating new tax revenue to strengthening the local industries that are the backbone of states’ economies.”

House Democrat on Obama’s Immigration Strategy: “I Don’t Get What the Plan Is”

From an article in yesterday’s Politico:

[I]mmigration’s… a perfect example, Democrats say, of the problem with the White House’s approach to Congress. For all Obama’s insistence that he’s interested in trying to find a way through, they’re not getting the behind-the-scenes maneuvering or even centralized strategy that could help make that happen.

“They don’t have a war room. I don’t get what the plan is,” said one House Democrat who met recently with the president, expressing frustration with an approach that’s being seen within the Democratic caucus as hands-off to the point of apathy. “Be the quarterback, tell me the positions, give me the playbook. ‘Here’s how we’re going to score, here’s how we’re going to get a win.’”

The claim that Democrats (as in more than one) are frustrated with the President’s strategy on immigration reform is apparently based on a single, unnamed source, so take that for what it’s worth—but it’s interesting nonetheless, if only as a prompt for discussion. What should the White House be doing on immigration reform at this point?

Quick Followup from Yesterday’s NSC Webinar

Just a couple of quick followup notes from yesterday’s National Skills Coalition webinar on immigration reform.

  • During my presentation, I mentioned that we expect new estimates of adult literacy rates in the U.S. in October of this year, based on findings from a new survey, called the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or PIAAC. More information on PIAAC here.)In addition, the National Coalition for Literacy will be conducting a webinar about PIAAC tomorrow (July 31st) at 3pm.
  • A questioner asked about how to locate adult ESOL programs. I believe she was looking for more than a directory of programs, but more specifically, how to find best practices related to ESOL instruction in her local community. That’s a bit tougher for me to answer at a distance. At any rate, I did mention that there have been efforts to create and maintain a national database of adult literacy programs. Here are the two that I know about that might be helpful:

America’s Literacy Directory
National Literacy Directory

  • Finally, I thought participants may  be interested in this new World Education immigrant integration project, funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education, which will “develop and implement a theoretical framework for immigrant integration and provide technical assistance to five immigrant integration networks with a dual focus on accelerating key services and on network development.” More information here.