This week, Congress planned to vote on two immigration-related bills. One was the “compromise” immigration bill, which is based on a complex pathway-to-citizenship plan for DACA recipients that might make it even harder to enforce existing immigration law. The other, termed the Goodlatte bill, was the more conservative alternative to the compromise bill. It took steps to fund the border wall and limited the amnesty options for DACA recipients. While the compromise bill has been pushed to next week, Congress voted down the Goodlatte bill last Thursday, thus closing a door for conservative reform in immigration.

Heritage experts have been voicing their concerns about Congress’s actions and made it clear that, if there is to be any solution to our immigration issue in America, there must be legislation that respects the rule of law.

Heritage expert David Inserra rightly criticized Congress in a commentary this week, saying they are pushing “one big amnesty scheme.” It sets a dangerous precedent, and Congress failed to offer more resources to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is critical to positive reform.

According to Inserra, the immigration courts have 700,000 asylum cases on the docket alone. He noted that 95% of illegal immigrants with expired Visas do not show up to their court hearing, which means that an additional 262,000 illegals would be roaming about in your backyard every year.

Heritage’s Director of Congressional and Executive Branch Relations Tommy Binion agrees. In a commentary, he points to ineffective enforcement as a major problem in America and one that Congress needs to address immediately—but Congress seems to have no interest in coming to agreement on that solution.

Heritage experts gave Congress many prudent and sensible solutions, many of which involved making improvements in internal enforcement. Instead, Congress focused on one small piece of a very complicated puzzle: amnesty. This choice neglected to strengthen the agencies that protect us.

America’s hardworking civil servants in ICE can only do so much to secure our safety. With your support, Heritage is helping them in the fight to secure our great nation.

To learn more about the truth of immigration, listen to Heritage’s podcast on immigration enforcement, featuring David Inserra.

What do you think are the best next steps for enforcing immigration?

Last Wednesday the Health Policy Consensus Group, a group of conservative leaders that includes The Heritage Foundation, unveiled its detailed plan for healthcare reform at the Hoover Institute.

The Consensus Group’s proposal recommends converting much of the federal government’s healthcare funding structure into state block grants, with structural elements specifically designed to increase access, expand choice, and reduce cost. By bringing control over healthcare closer to the patient, the proposal aims to restore choice and competition in the marketplace.

While covering our proposal, Stephanie Armour from The Wall Street Journal noticed that Congress is taking the Consensus Group’s solutions very seriously. Our plan would “drive control of healthcare almost entirely to the states,” she said, which would do much to fix the healthcare problems caused by Obamacare.

While Obamacare has inflicted a great deal of damage to America’s health system, your support of The Heritage Foundation is continuing to push for its repeal and for patient-centered healthcare.

How has Obamacare affected you?

A sensible federal budget is critical for the stability of our nation. Last Monday, The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy published the Blueprint for Balance, Heritage’s annual budget proposal for the US government. It provides President Trump and lawmakers with a helpful guide to answer the country’s budget crisis.

The Blueprint for Balance is already making its mark on the Trump Administration. Fifty percent of Heritage’s proposal has been embraced in legislation. This development gives conservatives hope that a well-reasoned budget will be passed by Congress.

One of our leading fiscal and economic experts, Romina Boccia, hosted a panel to discuss the Blueprint’s unveiling. She described its purpose as a detailed policy agenda to balance the budget. “Not just without raising taxes,” she said, “but cutting taxes further, while ensuring a strong national defense and protecting individual liberty and economic freedom.”

Within a week of its release, Heritage’s budgeting success has been highlighted by some the country’s major news outlets.

Steve Mufson at The Washington Post noted that the President’s budget bears many similarities to the Blueprint. Key examples include the elimination of various federal programs, such as those regarding international relations and climate change. These details were inspired by Heritage’s experts.

While the Blueprint for Balance does exactly what its title says – achieving budgetary balance within  six years – it also would do much to strengthen the economy. Because of you, Heritage is able to produce unmatched research and recommendations for restoring and revitalizing our nation. Thank you so much for your support.

Click here to watch experts Justin Bogie, Stephen Moore, and Adam Michel explain the Blueprint for Balance:

What do you think is the solution to our budget crisis?

Heritage’s former Digital Strategy Manager, Ericka Anderson, unveiled her powerful new book called Leaving Cloud 9, where she tells her husband Rick Sylvester’s inspiring true story about overcoming a life of child abuse, generational poverty, and bipolar disorder.

Anderson revealed that Sylvester’s mother – a drug-user, prostitute, alcoholic, and thief – abused her son. With his mother being his only influence growing up, Sylvester’s adulthood life was set on a self-destructive path. He became an alcoholic, a drug abuser, and a divorced man. Sylvester was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a disease which exhibits this kind of volatile behavior.

Fortunately, Sylvester’s story has a happy ending. He overcame his past and became a family man and strong believer in Christ.

His wife ardently told the audience, “I hope that God will use Rick’s story to help those experiencing generational poverty, opioid addiction, depression, and childhood trauma.” She also thanked the experts at Heritage who helped her with the research for her book.

Your support for Heritage matters. Without it, Anderson would not have had Heritage’s extensive platform to tell real stories about real Americans. She thanks President Trump for making noble efforts to curb the opioid crisis, providing more resources for mental health education, and offering treatment and recovery programs to addicts and victims.

To learn more about how Rick overcame his childhood trauma and addictions, watch the video of the event below:

How do you think we should address mental health issues in America?

Obama’s Net Neutrality regulations, came into effect in 2015 to restrict internet service providers from limiting bandwidth to particular sites. The regulation, which Heritage and Heritage Action have stood against for a long time, officially ended on Monday. Now, the FCC has replaced Net Neutrality with the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which the Federal Communications Commission claims will decrease red tape and increase freedom and free market principles on the Internet.

Earlier this year, Heritage’s Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy, James L. Gattuso criticized Obama in an op-Ed published in The OC Register for making consumer prices more likely to rise. Because the regulations weren’t enforced fairly by the FCC, it made it more difficult for companies to pay for their costs and “left the consumer to carry the load,” said Gattuso.

In another report published on Heritage’s website, Gattuso outlined his critiques of Net Neutrality at greater length, suggesting that the Internet is like any other market, and would enjoy better price competition, freedom of access, and innovation without the Net Neutrality restrictions on internet traffic.

Heritage’s partner organization Heritage Action for America also put pressure on Congress by key voting against Net Neutrality this month. This key vote is an influential means for Heritage Action to impact the votes of members of Congress and the Senate: a Congressman’s vote on an issue that Heritage Action has key voted will impact that congressman’s score on Heritage Action’s influential scorecard, which uses congressmen’s voting history to tell constituents how conservative their representatives are.

Moving forward, Heritage has high hopes for the future of the Internet, and assured supporters of net neutrality in a Daily Signal article that the Internet will still exist despite the ending of the regulation.

Do you believe that the government should regulate internet use? If so, to what extent?

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