SAFE Act Looms, Farmworkers Threatened in House; Refugees Escape Rand Paul in Senate

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Immigration Reform 2013   jpegThese past few months have been historic for immigration reform and talk in the Senate of fixing our broken immigration system continues to garner support. I thank you for your ongoing support and wanted to give you an update on where efforts to bring about reform stand.

I am pleased to share some good news today.  The amendment we alerted you about a few days ago by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was voted down on June 19 by a vote of 61-37 on the Senate floor. Paul Amendment 1200 would have negatively impacted refugees and asylees in the United States.

Unfortunately, I also must report that the SAFE Act advanced in the House of Representatives.  As we shared earlier, the House Committee on the Judiciary passed H.R. 2278, which has hypocritically been labeled as the “SAFE” Act. We oppose this bill as it would expand the role of state and local law enforcement in immigration enforcement and would expand immigration detention, including detention of torture survivors, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable groups seeking protection.

We were also disappointed to see the House Committee on the Judiciary pass H.R. 1773, which purports to solve the immigration laws that govern our agricultural workforce.  In truth, this bill exacerbates the plight of undocumented farmworkers.  It does not include provisions for farmworkers to be reunited with their family members, does not include a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers, and strips wage protections for agricultural workers making it difficult for them to take care of their families.

We will continue watching the SAFE Act and H.R. 1773 closely and will keep you posted if these bills move forward.  Thank you again for all of your support as we work to make our immigration system fairer.

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