Evangelical Groups Launch Amnesty Ads

“It started in South Carolina with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham urging evangelists to back immigration reform as a way to ‘fix the problem.’ Conservative faith leaders in the Palmetto state are now being joined by church leaders in North Carolina, Texas, Colorado and Florida producing and airing a series of ads designed to change the hard-line views of conservative Christians on the issue,” ABC News reports.

“One reason for the push among evangelical leaders could be the strong shift toward representation of Hispanics in their churches. Among U.S. Hispanics 13 percent identify as evangelical, second only to Catholicism, which 62 percent identified with in a 2012 Pew Hispanic poll.”

House Immigration Bill May Offer 3 Routes to Citizenship

“In the shadow of a bipartisan Senate group preparing to roll out broad immigration legislation next week, shortly after Congress returns from its holiday break, a bipartisan group of eight House members is readying its own bill. In contrast to the Senate plan — which would provide one clear, if difficult, path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country — the House legislation will most likely offer three distinct paths to legal status,” the New York Times reports.

“The House group is still debating what benefits, if any, immigrants would receive during their provisional legal status, though a Republican with knowledge of the talks said the group had agreed that no government-subsidized benefits would be included.”

Tech Industry Visa Push in High Gear

“Be prepared to see the hoodie-wearing Facebook CEO joining religious leaders, agricultural workers, advocacy groups and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to stump for immigration reform. News that 28-year-old billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is behind the creation of an issues advocacy group of tech leaders, still in its embryonic stage, has triggered some excitement over how the industry’s star power — and cash — could help shape the immigration debate,” Politico reports.

“Observers say they expect tech executives to go to the Hill for education tours or urge their employees to lobby Congress. Some may travel to states to shore up congressional leaders who face blowback in their districts. Tech can help lend credibility to the message that there is an economic benefit to broad immigration reform, advocates say.”

Border Insecurity Remains an Issue in Immigration Debate

“Though many in Washington have been hailing the recent progress made on a sweeping immigration bill that would legalize the nation’s estimated 11million illegal immigrants, major disagreements over how best to secure the nation’s Southwest border with Mexico threaten to derail the process,” USA Today says.

“Lawmakers in the nation’s capital are largely in agreement that the border must be secured, but the next battle will be how to secure it — and over what time period. A failure to find common ground on this critical issue could be enough to snuff out a compromise, and with it the first comprehensive immigration legislation in more than a quarter-century.”

Should The U.S. Adopt Canada’s New Visa for High Skilled Workers?

“On Monday, our northern neighbor launched a new visa program designed to lure the best and the brightest entrepreneurs from around the world. It’s similar to other start-up visas that have recently been created or revamped in places like Australia, Chile and the U.K. The big difference is that unlike most countries that make participants wait a few years to see how many jobs their start-ups create, Canada’s new visa grants permanent residency from the start,” Fortune reports.

“Coincidentally, the launch came the same day the U.S. kicked off application season for skilled-foreign worker visas. Unlike previous years since the financial crisis, petitions for H-1B visas have risen sharply. It’s a sign of an improving economy, but also a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of talented foreigners hungry to live and work in the U.S.”