Update on Immigration Campaign- 45 In District Meetings!

Abby Levine, Director of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable
This month has been huge for the Roundtable's immigration campaign- as we act, write and speak up about the legislation which could change the lives of millions of New Americans. Here are some highlights from Roundtable organizations this month:
 
45 In District Meetings
Congrats to everyone who set up and did/are doing meetings with their members of Congress! At last count, there were 45 meetings in 21 states and DC. Special shout outs to:
  • Bend the Arc, with a whopping 21 visits throughout the month of May
  • JCPA for getting meetings in critical places like Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN and more, as part of their Immigration Nation project with HIAS
  • Just Congregations/RAC for getting meetings with 2 Senators themselves - Bennet and Isakson
  • Expert trainers Sammie Moshenberg at NCJW and Meir Lakein at JOIN for Justice for leading a great webinar for 50 participants on how to plan and implement these successfully
  • Local groups: JCUA, JALSA, JCA and JFREJ working side-by-side with their local immigrant rights partners to bring a Jewish presence to meetings and actions.
  • Boston groups (JCRC, JLC, JALSA, Moishe Kavod House, Bend the Arc, JOIN for Justice) for organizing a great protest in Statue of Liberty garb - see pic here!
 
Op Eds/Letters to Editor
Five years after Postville: Standing Up for Immigration Reform by Vic Rosenthal and Rabbi Morris Allen, Zeek Magazine
Reform effort needs backing of senators from Tennessee by Avi Poster (JCPA Board member), The Tennesseean
Immigration Reform Is A Moral And Religious Duty by Rabbi Seth Limmer, NY Jewish Week
Rational Immigration Reform must be Passed by Sheila Decter and Jeff Stone, Jewish Advocate
Jewish values inspire immigration reform by Rabbi Ron Stern, LA Jewish Journal
How immigrants change their towns by Alan van Capelle, New York Times
 
Legislative Update
Thanks to your calls and HIAS' leadership, the refugee parts of the legislation made it through the committee process relatively unscathed, as did most of the bill. There were some changes made to the high-skilled and low-skilled workers visas and to border security. Here is a good article about what happened in committee.
 
It's being reported that the legislation will come to the Senate floor either next week or the week of June 10, with 3 weeks of debate and a vote before the July 4 recess.
 
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is holding a call/webinar on June 3 at 4 PM EST to review the amendments and learn about current strategy. More info and sign up here.

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