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3/30: Actions Need For Senate Immigration Bill, Call Your Senator!

by Lee Siu Hin - Immigrant Solidarity Network Friday, Mar. 31, 2006 at 9:12 PM (213)403-0131 Los Angeles, CA USA

1. Why the Senate's Proposed Immigrant Bill is Bad for the Immigrants. 2. Take Actions! Call Your Senator to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform!

Actions Need For Senate Immigration Bill, Call Your Senator!

National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!


1. Why the Senate's Proposed Immigrant Bill is Bad for the Immigrants.

font size="3">2. Take Actions! Call Your Senator to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform! March 27, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Immigration Bill (The Chairman’s Mark/Specter Bill), and bring to debate and at the Congress, it'll make any modifications for the final vote (it could be days, weeks or months). Attached is a summary of the final day of Senate Judiciary Committee mark up (prepared by AILA). Go to to view the bill that passed on March 27th: The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

We believes the bill is bad, bad and bad!

Why? although there's some encourage modification and proposals on the bill, remember that Senator Frist and others may still bring his own bill to the floor which has all these provisions and worse. Which means some “good” elements of the bill could be taken away (such as: AgJob, DREAM Act), and more “bad” proposals can be put in.

Here's Six Egregious Provisions in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Bill (The Chairman’s Mark/Specter Bill), prepared by New York Immigrant Defense Project:

1. Expedited Removal

The Specter bill allows the government to remove more immigrants without any court hearing. Any immigrant who is found within 14 days of arrival and within 100 miles of the Mexican or Canadian borders -- for example, immigrants found in El Paso , San Diego and Detroit – would be subject to this. This would allow ICE to grab people from the streets and increases the ability of the Federal government to engage in selective enforcement.

A separate provision would allow the government to remove any immigrant without a court hearing simply by claiming that they have been convicted of an aggravated felony or a firearm offense -- with limited ability to challenge the changes against them and without having the right to apply for relief that may have been available to them.

Why this is bad: This provision would give the Department of Homeland Security unfettered authority to determine who is subject to “expedited removal” and would result in people being detained the ability to have a fair hearing. People who may have a basis to fight their deportation will be deported without being able to present their case.

2. Expansion of term “Aggravated Felony”

The Specter bill expands this term to include misdemeanor drunk driving offenses, minor accessory roles in the conduct of others, additional document-related offenses, providing some types of assistance to undocumented friends, neighbors and family members.

Why this is bad: The provision would result in the mandatory detention and deportation of greencard holders and others who are in the U.S. on visas, such as students. A judge would have no discretion to consider whether a person has a long standing ties to the U.S., kids or a spouse who is a U.S. citizen, law changed that her life around, or other equities.

3. Expansion of mandatory detention and increase in detention beds

The Specter bill increases detention by 50% with the addition of 10,000 beds and allows military bases to be used to meet this increase.

Why this is bad: this expands a system that is already rife with abuse and substandard conditions and exponentially ballooning costs (currently it costs approximate - 0/person per day). It creates armed camps around the country while seducing local communities with the lure of jobs and breaks in their property taxes.

In addition, a separate provision could lead to the mandatory detention of immigrants who fail to file a change of address form with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 10 days. This ignores the DHS’s problem with its address system, languages issues, and confusion about where to file address changes.

Why this is bad: It takes away the right to an individual hearing, separates families – children from parents, partners from each other – for long periods of time, and forces people to languish in detention centers for from their homes. The threat of this protracted period of detention also encourages people to give up on fighting their deportation cases and impinges on access control.

4. Indefinite Detention

The Specter bill would overturn Supreme Court decisions and allow the government to indefinitely detain many immigrants with final orders. This would be applied retroactively to individuals.

Why this is bad: Like mandatory detention, indefinite detention also separates families and forces people to languish in detention centers far from their homes. Allowing the Federal government to indefinitely detain such large numbers of people will also contribute to the high cost.

5. Local Law Enforcement

While it does not go as far as some proposed legislation to require cooperation between immigration authorities and local law enforcement, the Specter bill encourages local police to enter into agreements which allow them to enforce immigration law and gives local governments the inherent authority to enforce immigration law.

Why this is bad: This provision would be a public safety disaster. By turning local law enforcement into immigration police, immigrants would be afraid to turn to local police, social service agencies, and even emergency services for assistance.

It also authorizes state and local governments to issues detainers to hold any immigrant after they finish a state prison sentence until DHS takes custody and to detain any “illegal alien” who is removable or not lawfully present for 14 days after completion of a prison sentence.

Why this is bad: These provisions would allow local governments to determine whether a person is a non-citizen, is lawful present or removable, which they are not equipped to make. It also gives them free reign to detain immigrants for long periods of time with no criminal or immigration charges filed against them, and invites widespread abuse, including racial profiling, retaliation against specific persons or groups.

6. Increased Border Militarization

Why this is bad: The indiscriminate increase in border patrol agents and resources for enforcement will lead to more deaths on the border and increased militarization of border communities.

Please Take Actions!!!! Call Your Senator to Demands Comprehensive Immigration Reform!

The floor debate has begun; please calls your Senators to push for a workable, comprehensive solution to immigration reform!

Contact your Senator by calling (202) 224-3121.

Suggest Talking Points:

1) Ask Them make sure the DEAM Act and AgJobs will be part of the final Senate bill.

2) No to the Six Egregious Provisions of the Bill (listed on above)

3) Demand a workable, comprehensive solution to immigration reform! Supports amnesty to the Immigrants, not a reactionary closed border and immigrant bashing policies!

The Complete lists of the U.S. Senator

Alexander, Lamar- (R - TN) Class II
(202) 224-4944
Web Form:
Allen, George- (R - VA) Class I
(202) 224-4024
Web Form:
Bayh, Evan- (D - IN) Class III
(202) 224-5444
Web Form:
Biden, Joseph R., Jr.- (D - DE) Class II
(202) 224-5521
Bond, Christopher S.- (R - MO) Class III
(202) 224-5721
Web Form:
Brownback, Sam- (R - KS) Class III
(202) 224-6521
Web Form:
Byrd, Robert C.- (D - WV) Class I
(202) 224-3954
Web Form:
Cantwell, Maria- (D - WA) Class I
(202) 224-3441
Web Form:
Carper, Thomas R.- (D - DE) Class I
(202) 224-2441
Web Form:
Chafee, Lincoln- (R - RI) Class I

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
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WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! obswever Friday, Mar. 31, 2006 at 9:24 PM
Illegal Immigration should be Outlawed, and the Laws should be Enforced! PM Friday, Mar. 31, 2006 at 10:22 PM
we should round up THESE TWO Hex Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 12:43 AM

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