PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS!
Background: On Thursday, May 17, 2007, Democratic and Republican senators announced a compromise immigration proposal, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which will be considered on the Senate floor beginning the week of May 21.
In a statement released May 17, Bishop Gerald Barnes, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, expressed “significant” reservations with the legislation, citing problems with the legalization program of Title VI, the temporary worker program in Title IV, and family reunification in Title V. He stated that the U.S. bishops would work to make changes in these areas.
Title IV – Temporary Worker Program
Legislation: S. 1348 fails to provide a path to citizenship for temporary workers and their families. It also limits to two years the time temporary workers can bring their family members with them to the United States. A worker is eligible for up to 6 years. It also requires that a worker return home for a year after working for two years (two working, one at home, etc.), which could lead to visa overstays and an increase in the undocumented population.
Title V --- Family Reunification
Legislation: Title V of S. 1348 eliminates several categories of family immigration (1,2b, 3, and 4) and reduces the number of green cards available to parents of U.S. citizens to 40,000 a year. It clears up backlogs in the family preference system for anyone who applied prior to May 2005, but penalizes those who filed after that date. It replaces the family preference system with a “point” system skewed to highly educated and highly skilled workers
Title VI --- Legalization Program
Legislation: Title VI of S. 1348 would provide a “Z” visa for undocumented persons and allow them to apply for permanent residency within 8 years. Unfortunately, it would not allow immediate family members to join the eligible worker until a green card application is approved, a minimum of eight years. It also requires the visa holder to return to his/her country of origin to apply for a green card.
Please email, fax or call your Senators today (202) 224-3121 or go to http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/action.html
The Justice for Immigrants Campaign