OVERVIEW

On Monday, January 28, 2013, eight senators from both political parties joined to release a set of principles for immigration reform.  The principles from Senators Bennet (D–CO), Durbin (D–IL), Flake (R–AZ), Graham (R–SC), McCain (R–AZ), Menendez (D–NJ), Rubio (R–FL), and Schumer (D–NY) include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million aspiring citizens.

Following the release of the principles, President Obama delivered a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada the next day calling for Congress to deliver an immigration reform bill.  Similarly, the President released a framework but committed to letting Congress release language first.
Since then, a draft of the President’s language was leaked. The Administration reiterated that it continued to encourage both the Senate and the House to move legislation forward. The legislation is expected at the end of March.  

CURRENT ADVOCACY

Immigration Reform

With the budget overshadowing immigration reform just a couple of weeks ago, many believed comprehensive immigration reform would not get done this year. However, in the last few days there has been a sparked interest and support to move bipartisan legislation forward. Below is an update.

Legislation

House Democrats introduced bill, H.R. 15 in early October.  At the moment, it has 187 cosponsors – three Republicans, specifically, Rep. Denham and Rep. Valadao from California.  This bill is very similar to the Senate-passed legislation but the onerous Corker-Hoeven amendment is replaced with other border protection language.

In addition, there remains the Republican piecemeal approach to Immigration Reform with the following five Republican bills passed by House Committees:

  • H.R. 1417 – Border Security Results Act
  • H.R. 2278 – “SAFE” Act (interior enforcement, allows local enforcement)
  • H.R. 1772 – Legal Workforce Act (mandatory E-Verify)
  • H.R. 1773 – Agricultural Guest worker Act
  • H.R. 2131 – SKILLS Visa Act (high skilled visas)

There is a rumor that a GOP member has agreed to co?sponsor a bill in the next week– likely one of the 26 Republicans who have publicly supported Immigration Reform, possibly a Representative from CA – but it is still unknown.

Moving Forward

The President and House Democrats believe they have enough Republican votes to move bipartisan legislation forward. However, it is uncertain whether House Leader Boehner will allow a floor vote on reform bills. Congress has two weeks before Thanksgiving and two weeks after to move legislation forward. If nothing is done by end of this year, the next window would be in spring 2014, but it would be more difficult as it gets closer to midterm elections.

Action

Field campaigns are moving forward with escalated campaigns targeting the following California Representatives: McCarthy, McKeon, Miller, Royce and Cook. CPCA continues to be a part of the Healthy New Americans coalition and we will be joining the coalition call on Thursday, October 31, to determine how to continue the push for comprehensive immigration reform that includes health.

For questions, please contact Aracely Navarro (anavarro@cpca.org).

 

ADVOCATES REACT

CPCA alongside national and state partners commended the Administration and “the gang of eight” in pushing forward comprehensive immigration reform. However, there were concerns with the limitations and exclusion of health access for the 11 million new Americans.  Further, the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for ACA regulations related to Eligibility and Enrollment issues in Medicaid, CHIP, and the Exchange dated January 22, 2013 excluded the DACA-eligible individuals from Medicaid, CHIPRA and from purchasing insurance through the exchanges.

 

RECENT NEWS

March 12, 2013

The California Endowment released a short video, “Dreaming of Health Care, “ that highlights undocumented students, one segment of the remaining uninsured. This 60-second ad is the first in a yearlong, multimillion-dollar campaign by the Endowment to push for preventive care and a strong safety net for undocumented immigrants or other residents who cannot afford private health insurance.

March 11, 2012

"Senators agree on path to legal status for illegal immigrants"  - Los Angeles Times

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On November 20, President Obama announced that through executive action, he will protect undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria from deportation proceedings. While the executive order has not yet been released, this group is expected to include a new category of parents whose children are legal residents, and an expansion of previously protected childhood arrivals. It is expected that this action will help more than 5 million people nation-wide. It is truly historic.

For details on the President’s proposal, as well as resources for our immigrant patients, please visit the Administrative Relief Resource Center at www.adminrelief.org. This website is brought to you by the Committee on Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI), which is a partnership of well-respected organizations including the National Immigration Law Center and the National Council of La Raza. For your convenience, we have attached one document from the website that addresses common questions, including who will likely qualify for the program.  

Under the President’s new policy, the newly protected immigrants will not be deported. But, they will not have legal immigration status, a visa, or a green card. It is not a path to citizenship. In fact, the President excluded this population from inclusion in federally funded government safety net programs like Medicaid or Medicare, and states have yet to receive official guidance from the federal government.

RESOURCES

 

CPCA STAFF CONTACTS

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Aracely Navarro, Advocacy Coordinator at anavarro@cpca.org or 916.440.8170.


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