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A U.S. naturalization ceremony. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Two leading immigration groups — the New American Economy and the American Immigration Council — are merging, in part, to prepare for a potential Republican takeover of Congress, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Immigration has increasingly become a central U.S. political issue. Pro-immigrant groups have gained influence in recent years through their advocacy and litigation — especially during the Trump era. A possible return to legislative power by the GOP would require more clout, the two groups say.

  • “It’s rare that nonprofits merge, but it shouldn't be," said Jeremy Robbins, who served as executive director of New American Economy and will retain that title in the new group.
  • NAE is an immigration think tank founded over a decade ago by Michael Bloomberg.
  • “I believe our field needs to evolve, and that it’s time to reimagine our work in a way that helps us best serve newcomers while rebuilding a bipartisan and constructive case for what immigration means for America.”

The new group will be named the American Immigration Council. The council was founded by the sister group American Immigration Lawyers Association — the only U.S. legal association for immigration attorneys.

  • The merger comes after an outcry among immigrant advocates, including the Council, over the Biden administration reinstating the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy, under federal court order.
  • It also comes as groups rethink the best way to push pro-immigrant policies in anticipation of Republicans taking back the House next year. This includes an emphasis on state and local policies, particularly in places like Texas, Ohio and Colorado with new immigrant communities.
  • Former President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created policies to make it more difficult for migrants to gain asylum and imposed a new wealth and health "public charge" test for green card applicants.

The big picture: NAE's work has focused on economic research and building state and local advocacy networks, now in more than 100 communities.

  • Those efforts will now continue alongside the council's legal might, national ad campaigns and federal advocacy.
  • Members hope the combined resources help the teams "better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming," according to a news release first provided to Axios.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 14, 2022 - Sports

Australia cancels Novak Djokovic's visa again

Novak Djokovic during a practice session for the 2022 Australian Open n Melbourne, Australia, on Friday. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic faces possible deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked for a second time by officials on Friday — three days before he was due to begin the defense of his Australian Open title.

Driving the news: Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement he exercised his power to cancel the unvaccinated men's tennis world No. 1's visa "on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so." A lawyer for Djokovic has asked a court for an injunction preventing his removal from Australia.

Updated 43 mins ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.

National Archives releases Trump White House records to Jan. 6 panel

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The National Archives on Thursday evening released records of former President Trump's White House to the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, the agency said.

Why it matters: The committee now has documents that Trump attempted to keep hidden, arguing that their release would undermine his executive privilege.