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December 27, 2005

Act Now to Neutralize Devastating House Bill and Promote Real Reform

Meet with Your Senators During the January Recess!
Do your Senators know how bad HR 4437 really is? Too many U.S. Representatives voted for a punitive, unrealistic enforcement bill to satisfy the demands of the loud and misguided restrictionist minority. We must not allow this tyrannical minority to subject our nation to shortsighted, poorly conceived immigration policies. Now is the time to educate our U.S. Senators about comprehensive reform so that they will not be seduced by the overrepresented voices of anti-immigrant and anti-immigration activists.

Your Senators and Representatives will be in their home districts for most of January (the Senate reconvenes on January 18, and the House reconvenes on January 31). We expect the debate over immigration reform to begin in the Senate in February, so it is more critical than ever that you meet with your Senators in their home offices in January to educate them about how to fix our broken immigration system. We need to make sure our Senators fully grasp just how punitive, extreme, and unworkable HR 4437 is. We need them to understand that--other than showing the country and the world just how harsh we can be--HR 4437 does nothing to solve the problems plaguing our immigration system. Instead of pouring massive amounts of money into the same failed strategies, we expect the Senate to produce a realistic, comprehensive reform plan.

Call your Senator’s home office to set up a meeting (you can enter your zip code here to find the phone number.)

When you meet with your Senator, make sure to tell him or her that:

* The American public is justifiably concerned about our inability to secure the borders and the phenomenon of undocumented immigration. HR 4437, however, utterly fails to address these concerns in a realistic way. Instead, as one might expect with a bill that is jammed through the legislative process as HR 4437 was, this bill offers sound bites, not solutions.
* Among the countless misguided measures in the bill, HR 4437 would make millions of undocumented immigrants felons, fine or jail hundreds of thousands of American employers, subject millions of noncitizens to mandatory detention, put millions of Americans behind bars as “alien smugglers” for completely innocuous activity, and strip basic due process rights and judicial review as we know it for legal permanent residents.
* We expect the Senate to address our serious immigration problems by producing carefully considered, serious solutions.
* To gain control of our borders and truly guarantee our security, we must implement a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that will address the 11 million people living here without papers. The vast majority of these undocumented immigrants are law-abiding, hardworking people who pay their taxes and contribute to our society. By allowing these people an opportunity to come out of the shadows, register with the government, pay a hefty fine, go through the security check process, and earn the privilege of legal status, we can restore the rule of law in our workplaces and communities and focus our enforcement resources on those who mean us harm.
* A realistic, comprehensive approach to immigration reform must include an effective guest worker program that would match willing workers with willing employers. It must also reunite close family members, some of whom have been separated for twenty years. Finally, comprehensive immigration reform must enhance our border security so that we know who is coming into our country. Such reform would facilitate the cross-border flow of people and goods that is essential to our economy. A vibrant economy, in turn, is essential to fund our security needs.
* We have spent the last 20 years tightening immigration enforcement, but it hasn’t worked. It is irrational to try to enforce laws that are out of sync with the economic realities of our country. Until the laws are in line with reality and provide a safe, legal, and orderly way for migrants to enter our country to work and reunite with family, and for those who are here to come out of the shadows and become integrated with society, we cannot hope to gain control of our broken immigration system.
* We urge you to enact truly comprehensive immigration reform, reform that will work. We urge you to reject enforcement-only measures that hurt communities and do nothing to help us gain control of our borders or make us more secure.

View tips on meeting with legislators here.

Call your Senator’s office today to set up a meeting! It’s up to you to prevent the Senate from adopting another punitive, unrealistic enforcement-only bill. You are the immigration experts--your Senators must hear from you that comprehensive reform is the only way to truly fix our broken immigration system!

Posted by VisaLawyer at December 27, 2005 06:47 AM

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