ICYMI: FWD.us Taps Republican Policy Expert Mark Delich To Drive Congressional Outreach

Posted on 08/02/2016

Washington, DC — FWD.us today announced the hire of seasoned Hill veteran Mark Delich as director of congressional affairs.

Mark’s hire adds another powerful conservative voice to FWD.us’ growing bipartisan team ahead of the 2016 election and beyond. In his new role, Mark will help drive the organization’s congressional outreach efforts and will continue to build relationships with bipartisan lawmakers in key offices to help push immigration reform through Congress in 2017.

Mark comes to FWD.us with more than a decade of public policy experience, most recently as a senior advisor to Senator John McCain, where he was on the forefront of issues involving homeland security and immigration. There, he served as a lead staffer on a number of high-profile legislative initiatives, including the comprehensive immigration reform bill S. 744, which passed in the Senate with an overwhelming majority in December 2013.

Prior to advising Sen. McCain, Mark was the director of policy at the Reform Institute, where he set the strategic direction for the Institute’s policy work on immigration and homeland security issues. His impressive background serving as a lead staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will add considerable strength to FWD.us’ efforts to update the high-skilled immigration system.

“Mark’s expert knowledge of immigration and border security issues will be a tremendous asset for our organization and our efforts on the Hill,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “We’re thrilled to leverage his bipartisan experience working with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle as we fight to get commonsense immigration reform done in 2017.”

A nationally-recognized public policy expert, Mark will continue to be at the center of immigration reform efforts as a senior staffer at FWD.us.

“FWD.us has been a great advocate in pushing for sensible immigration policies that will secure our borders, reform our visa system and provide an earned pathway to citizenship for the millions of people who are living in the United States without papers,” said Mark Delich. “I’m excited to join them and continue fighting for policies—like comprehensive immigration reform—that make sense for our economy and our country.”

FWD.us Statement on Immigration Reform at DNC

Posted by FWD.us on 07/26/2016

Today, FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement:

“Hearing from Astrid Silva, a DREAMer, and Karla Ortiz, a U.S. Citizen with an undocumented mother under fear of seeing her family torn apart due to congressional inaction, was a terrific reminder of why right after the election is the time for both parties to come together and pass bipartisan immigration reform legislation right out of the gate in 2017.”

Continuing the Fight for Undocumented Families & Looking Forward to Immigration Reform in 2017

Posted by Gabriela Cid on 07/25/2016

DC-blog-post-cover-photoWe were dealt a huge blow by the Supreme Court of the United States’ 4-4 ruling on the
U.S. v. Texas case. This ruling meant that Expanded DACA and DAPA would not become a reality; Instead, countless individuals in our communities would continue to live their lives in the shadows. Up until Thursday, June 23, our families, our stories, and our faces were shown by the media and given attention. We were newsworthy then. But on Friday, June 24, the news cycle moved on to the next hot topic. Meanwhile, our families remained the same: undocumented and fearful, at risk of being separated. 


It pained us to know that our struggles were so easily forgotten. So many individuals bravely shared their stories of resilience and their need to be recognized as human beings in American society. And yet nothing had changed. We knew that we had to keep fighting, but we were also in the process of healing and accepting that we had to keep moving forward.


While the media attention may have shifted, we wanted to share our appreciation with members of Congress who supported Expanded DACA and DAPA and fought beside us. We wanted to let them know that our families were still here and hurting, but hopeful.


Weeks after the Court’s decision, we organized a fly-in to Washington D.C. Individuals from across the country came together on Thursday, July 14, to both thank the elected officials who championed our cause and remind them to keep fighting for our communities.


For some of the participants, it was our first time visiting Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress. Among these first-timers was Jonathan Sanchez, a U.S. citizen. Jonathan’s mother is undocumented and would have been eligible for DAPA. He wanted to remind members of Congress that immigrants are hard-working and only seeking a better life for their children. “As her son, I’ve seen [my mother] work hard in every job she’s done to make sure that my siblings and I had food on the table,” shared Jonathan.


We met with both Republican and Democrat members of Congress like Congressman Valadao (R-CA), Congressman Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Congressman Gutierrez (D-IL), Congressman Castro (D-TX), and others.


DAPA-eligible participant Marlene Burga had the opportunity to share her story with Congressman Gutierrez. “[It is] so important for me to know that we can have a direct conversation with our legislators who  understand we need to have better results for immigration reform,” said Burga. “I know that we can work together to keep pushing our country forward, a country with millions of parents like myself that live in fear of being separated away from their children.


A shared reflection we were left with at the end of the day was that we are stronger together; We must keep fighting as a group. Our communities depend on a unified approach to fix our broken immigration system–an approach where impacted individuals and Congressional representatives listen to one another to find the best solution.


“[This opportunity] helped [me] realize that the fight for immigration reform is not one of ‘us vs. them,’ but rather a fight that we are all in this together. It was a testament to the fact that there are still lawmakers interested in advancing the common good, as well as representatives who are willing to give a voice to those whose calls for help are often–too often–shut out,” said participant Jesus Rodriguez.


Our conversations with these congressmen and women gave us a glimpse of hope. They helped us gain some closure after the defeat in the Supreme Court. But more importantly, they reminded us that there is a lot of work to be done to show people that comprehensive immigration reform must be a priority in 2017. As immigrants, and children of immigrants, we are committed to this fight.


Join us and tell Congress it’s time to pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation during the first 100 days of 2017.


Here Are Donald Trump's Immigration Promises

Posted on 07/21/2016

Last night Donald Trump spewed a dark litany of false attacks on immigrants and immigration, but he didn’t actually tell you about his absurd “plans.”

The best message today: remind people that his actual plan is to round up and deport 11 million people is wrong and absurd.

Because here are Donald Trump’s immigration promises:

  1. The mass deportation of all 11 million undocumented immigrants within 18 months – although he never tells you how he’ll do it, how he’ll pay for it, or what it would entail
  2. Revoking the citizenship of 4 million U.S. – born U.S. citizens who have undocumented parents and deporting them – although he doesn’t understand how the Constitution or due process works
  3. An un-American, unconstitutional religious ban on immigrants – again, no regard for common sense or the Constitution
  4. An impractical border wall – which he admits to talking about to fire up crowds when they’re bored
  5. Radically restricting legal immigration channels and gutting the economy
  6. End the 2012 DACA on Day 1 and restart immediate the deportation of 730,000 DREAMers who have given the government their contact info in the process of passing a background check.

This would cost over well $620 billion in new government spending, according to the conservative economist who worked for President Bush, cut nearly $2 trillion from the economy, and rip apart millions of American families. Instead of this absurd “plan,” we should pass commonsense immigration reform that fixes the legal immigration system, secures the border, and provides a pathway to citizenship.

There’s a reason law enforcement supports this plan: unlike Trump’s mass deportation proposals, this means focusing resources on violent criminals. There’s a reason it grows the economy by $1 trillion; a reason that faith leaders support reform, and that small business owners and farmers and students all believe in supporting commonsense legislation. This isn’t about right or left, it’s about right and wrong.

There’s also a reason that yesterday a Gallup Poll showed that support for a pathway to citizenship was not only at an all-time high among the public at 84%, but also with 76% of Republicans – and it’s because the American people understand these astronomical human and economic costs to the absurd idea of building a police state to deport 11 million people.

But don’t take tonight’s dark speech as a sign of who we are as a nation or where we are going – after this election, Democrats and Republicans are going to come together and pass immigration reform in 2017.