Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Immigration bill: urgent action

Take Action Now : March 24, 2006.

The Senate Judiciary Committee may attempt to complete immigration bill mark-up this week.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Arlen Specter R-PA., is currently considering the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. The committee has met twice to consider the bill, but has only made progress on Titles I and II on border and interior enforcement. The most controversial issues, such as the criminalization of the undocumented and those who assist them, the temporary worker program, and the fate of the undocumented population, could be taken up this week. The committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday and may try to finish its work and report a bill by the end of the week. It is crucial that you contact your Senators this week to ask them to support comprehensive immigration reform, most particularly an earned legalization program for the 11 million undocumented in the country.

As background, Senator Frist has stated he will bring enforcement-only legislation (most likely Titles I, II, and III of the legislation) to the floor the week of March 27 if the Committee does not report a bill to the floor. Such a move would diminish chances that comprehensive immigration legislation will be considered during the current Congress.

We urge you to contact the Senators no later than Wednesday with a two-part message:

1). Only a comprehensive immigration reform bill is acceptable and that the Senate Judiciary Committee should be given time to complete its work and,
2). Please support an amendment to the bill which would provide an earned legalization program for the 11 million undocumented in the country.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are:

Alabama: Senator Jeff Session's office at (202) 224-4124

Arizona: Senator Jon Kyl's office at (202) 224-4521

California: Senator Feinstein’s office at: (202) 224-3841

Delaware: Senator Biden’s office at: (202) 224-5042

Illinois: Senator Durbin’s office at: (202) 224-2152

Iowa: Senator Grassley’s office at: (202) 224-3744

Kansas: Senator Brownback’s office at: (202) 224-6521

Massachusetts: Senator Kennedy’s office at: (202) 224-5251

New York: Senator Schumer’s office at: 202-224-6542

Ohio: Senator DeWine’s office at: (202) 224-2315

Oklahoma: Senator Coburn’s office at: (202) 224-5754

Pennsylvania: Senator Specter’s office at: (202) 224-4254

South Carolina: Senator Graham’s office at: (202) 224-5972

Texas: Senator Cornyn’s office at: (202) 224-2934

Utah: Senator Hatch’s office at: (202) 224-5251

Vermont: Senator Leahy’s office at: (202) 224-4242

Wisconsin: Senator Kohl’s office at: (202) 224-5653 & Senator Feingold’s office at: (202) 224-5323

Click on the links provided for a summary of the bill and talking points which highlight the major issues in case you have an opportunity for a longer conversation with staff. Again, the short message is that 1). the Senate Judiciary Committee should be given time to complete its work on a complicated immigration bill. Such a bill should not be rushed out of committee. Please support an amendment to the bill in committee and/or on the floor which would provide an earned legalization program for the 11 million undocumented in this country. (An earned legalization program would provide temporary work visas for currently undocumented. It would require them to pay a fine, begin learning English, and work for six years before becoming eligible for a green card/permanent residency)

This is an important week for the chances for comprehensive immigration reform. We need your voices.

Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope.
The Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform


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