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Action Alert: Calls Needed TODAY, Thursday, June 20

The Senate will continue to vote on amendments to the bipartisan immigration bill S.744 today, Thursday, June 20th. Yesterday your calls make were successful! Paul #1200 which was tabled, which would have hurt refugees and delayed the path to citizenship, and Lee #1208 failed, which would have delayed the path to citizenship.

Please call TODAY and keep calling to defeat negative amendments and win sensible improvements to the bill!


Call

1-866-940-2439


to be connected with your Senators.

You can also call the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or find Senators’ direct lines at

http://www.senate.gov/

Feel free to use this sample script:


“I am from [City, State, Congregation], and I support

immigration reform.


As a person of faith, I urge the Senator to vote


NO


to


amendments sponsored by Senators


Cornyn, Inhofe, Cruz, Rubio,

Fischer, Grassley, Wicker, and Sessions

,

which would expand detention,

significantly delay the path to citizenship, and prevent many of our community

members from accessing the path to citizenship.

 


I also ask the Senator to


SUPPORT Senator Hirono’s

amendment #1403


to help women and families access the visa system, and

Senator Boxer’s #1240


to ensure training for all officials along the

border.”



OPPOSE AMENDMENTS THAT

WOULD EXPAND DETENTION AND DELAY THE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP

 


SENATOR CORNYN’S “RESULTS” AMENDMENT #1251

would mandate unreasonable triggers that could inevitably

delay the path to citizenship and increases enforcement costs without a clear

strategy and purpose. The Department of Homeland Security would have to ensure

100% situational awareness of the border, full operational control, and fully

implement a nationwide employment verification system and biometric entry and

exit system at all air and sea ports of entry. This would cost around $24

billion, mostly for adding 10,000 officer and agents. These are extremely high

costs lacking clear justification. Cornyn may file another amendment to be

considered today that would narrow who is eligible for the path to citizenship.


SENATOR INHOFE’S AMENDMENT #1203

would radically expand immigration detention, including arriving asylum seekers

and longtime lawful permanent residents with misdemeanor offenses, and remove

basic due process. It would extend mandatory detention to individuals with old

convictions who have been free for years and leading productive lives, and

would bar Immigration Judges from ordering the supervision of immigrants on

secure and cost effective alternatives to detention. It would also authorize

the indefinite-or potentially lifelong-detention of broad categories of people,

without meaningful judicial review.


SENATOR CRUZ’S AMENDMENT #1320

would

replace current border provisions with more burdensome requirements and delay

the processing of applications for RPI status until these border security

requirements are met.


OPPOSE AMENDMENTS THATWOULD PREVENT MANY FROM ACCESSING THE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP


SENATOR RUBIO’S AMENDMENT #1225


AND


SENATOR FISCHER’S AMENDMENT #1348

would

require individuals to pass the English and civics exam currently required for

citizenship in order to even receive RPI status (Fischer #1348) or adjust to

LPR status (Rubio #1225). These amendments would restrict many of our community

members from accessing RPI and LPR status, and thus prevent them from

sponsoring their family members for reunification. The standard currently set

in the bill, to allow people in RPI status to adjust to LPR if they

are “satisfactorily pursuing a course of study…to achieve an

understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and

Government of the United States” should remain, so individuals can adjust

to LPR and continue learning English to prepare for the citizenship exam.

 


SENATOR GRASSLEY’S AMEDNMENT #1299

would bar individuals who have been a member of a gang from entering the U.S.

or, for those who are here, pursuing the path to citizenship. It would expand

the term “criminal gang” to mean an ongoing group, club,

organization, or association of 5 or more persons that has as 1 of its primary

purposes 1 or more criminal offense”. This could prevent access to the

path to citizenship for many individuals who were members of gangs in their youth

but who have changed their lives and are contributing members of our

communities.


SENATOR WICKER’S AMENDMENT #1229

would revoke RPI status from someone who

leaves the U.S. for more than 180 days, utilizes Federal means-tested benefits,

uses a fraudulent document, or is no longer eligible for such status. This

could prevent people from traveling to see a sick family member and or from

finding health services for their children.


SENATOR SESSIONS’ AMENDMENT #1334

would change in the definition of “aggravated identity theft” from

the possession of the identification “of another person” to the

possession of identification “that is not his or her own”. This would

eliminate the ability of many immigrants who have used fake documents to get by

from ever applying for RPI status.



SUPPORT AMENDMENTS TO HELP WOMEN, FAMILIES AND BORDER COMMUNITIES


SUPPORT SENATOR HIRONO’S AMENDMENT #1403

to help women and families enter through the merit-based system.

This amendment is sponsored by 12 women senators, including Senator Murkowski

(R-AK).


SUPPORT SENATOR BOXER’S AMENDMENT #1240

This amendment

would require that all National Guard and Coast Guard officials who are

stationed along the border receive the same training programs in immigration

law enforcement, vulnerable populations, and responding to children and victims

of crime. The current bill requires this training for border patrol agents, but

leaves out these National Guard and Coast Guard officials. Everyone patroling

the border should be specifically trained in these issues.

Find Your Senators’

Twitter

names on their websites (

http://www.senate.gov/

) and urge them to support positive

amendments and oppose negative amendments by tweeting @[their twitter name].

Ex:





@


Sen_JoeManchin





As a WV person of faith I

support



#


immigrationreform



.

Please oppose Grassley #1195 which would delay



#


pathtocitizenship






#


cir




 

All amendments filed can be found at

http://1.usa.gov/14im8Gp

. Please note that this list takes time

to update, so it is possible that amendments being considered may not appear at

this link until 24 hours after they have been filed.

Read More


Heads
of denominations reveal joint



declaration
of  resistance



to mass
deportations and gridlock in Congress on Immigration Reform, signed by over 100
faith groups and leaders.

Ministers, Rabbis,
Sisters Religious, and religious leaders gathered and led and interfaith
service on Sunday, October 20th, to unite in a commitment to resist a “cruel
and broken” immigration system, and calling on Congress to break the gridlock
on immigration reform.  The interfaith service was held at Central Spanish
Baptist Church in Chicago.

“We will resist
‘business as usual’ while mass deportations continue and immigration reform
efforts remain paralyzed in Congress,” declared Pastor Lilian Amaya of
Ministerio Hazel in Chicago.  “Non-violent acts of civil disobedience,
fasts, vigils, and offering sanctuary in our houses of worship are some of the
ways we can honor God’s call to justice and protection for the most
vulnerable.” Rabbi Laurence Edwards shared, “we have witnessed an
immigration system which tears families apart…we renew our commitment to
uphold our sacred traditions by resisting injustice.”

Rev. Dr. Larry
Greenfield, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches, led a prayer
for protection of families. “Lord, protect the sanctity of the family, and let
no person threaten or separate the bonds of love which emanate from you.”

After an interfaith
service, the group held a procession on the street, led by two members of the
coalition dressed in orange jump suits, signifying liberation of the
captives.  “Holy One, set us all free to live wholly dependent on you, to
follow your law, and to work together for your peace,” prayed Sr. Margaret
Hansen, Province Leader of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters.

Many of these leaders
have met with Congress representatives, including Representative Roskam and
Representative Lipinski, to ask for their support on an Immigration Reform that
will include a path to citizenship.

The event, organized
by the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, was a gathering of over 20
congregations and religious communities who have declared themselves “Immigrant
Welcoming Congregations.”  These congregations pledge to pray and take
action toward justice and mercy for immigrants.  Martinelli Quincenella,
member of Central Spanish Baptist Church, urged more congregations to join in
the coalition. “We’d like everyone to know the invitation is open to everyone
to work together for dignity for the immigrant.”

Read More

Public Citizen has published a thorough review of the past 20 years of NAFTA with their new report, “NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health
Laws” Click here to see the report.  and march with CRLN and the Illinois Fair Trade Coalition this Saturday to say ‘¡No más!’ to this harmful legacy of free trade and neoliberalism! No to the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a.k.a. NAFTA on Steroids!

Contact your members of Congress 
to urge them to vote no on Fast Track legislation for the TPP!

Below are some of the reports’ main findings, but click here to see the report in fullWith mounting evidence around the false promises of free trade, the report goes more deeply into growing income inequality throughout the hemisphere and lawsuits filed by corporations against sovereign nations for “a loss of future profits” resulting from domestic public interest and environmental laws.

  • The export of subsidized U.S. corn did increase under NAFTA, destroying the
    livelihoods of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and
    about 1.4 million additional Mexican workers whose livelihoods depended on
    agriculture.
  • Scores of NAFTA countries’ environmental and health laws have been challenged in foreign tribunals through the controversial investor-state system. More than $360 million in compensation to investors has been extracted from NAFTA governments via “investor-state” tribunal challenges against toxics bans, land-use rules, water and forestry policies and more. More than $12.4 billion are currently pending in such claims.
  • Facingdisplacement, rising prices and stagnant wages, over half of the Mexican
    population, and over 60 percent of the rural population, still fall below
    the poverty line, despite the promises made by NAFTA’s proponents.
  • Though the price paid to Mexican farmers for corn plummeted after NAFTA, the deregulated retail price of tortillas – Mexico’s staple food – shot up 279 percent in the pact’s first 10 years.
Read More
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Saturday, February 1st: Labor and Faith Leaders, Environmental, Human Rights, and Immigration Activists, the Chicago community took to the streets to tell Rep. Mike Quigley not to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a.k.a. NAFTA on steroids. Fast Track would keep the TPP in the dark, away from the public, the media and even our democratically elected members of Congress. Thus far, Rep. Mike Quigley has not committed to defending his constituents by saying no to Fast Track legislation.

Fast Track is not democracy. In case there’s any confusion on the part of TPP negotiators or our pro-Fast Track members of Congress, such as Mike Quigley, about what democracy is, take a look at these photos from last Saturday’s rally. THIS is what democracy looks like. (Click on the photos to enlarge them!)

And thanks to Ervin Lopez for a hefty portion of these photos!


































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When my friends and family found out that I’d partaken in an act
of civil disobedience this past Tuesday, their immediate reaction was to flood
me with questions about the arrest. A couple of emotions and sentiments were
expressed, much of which were either excitement and/or concern. While the civil
disobedience act itself allowed me to experience strong feelings of solidarity
and oneness, to me the occurrences and processes leading up to the action
itself were every bit as important and incredible.

My experience began with about another 150 people partaking in a
pilgrimage walk from ICE Headquarters in Chicago to the Broadview Detention
Center. Along our half-marathon walk (13 miles), during our communal lunches
and conversations, while were are huddled outside of the Broadview Detention
Center, and up to the moments leading up to, and during the civil disobedience
act itself, I saw and talked some of the most incredibly inspiring and
empowering community leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

It was my personal decision to partake in act of civil
disobedience near the Broadview Detention Center out of a desire to stand in
solidarity with the families and individuals experience unimaginable suffering
and who are those most directly affected by our current immigration system.
Everything that I saw and experienced along the way only reassured me of my
decision to partake in an act of civil disobedience. The last two days and all
the time and effort that went into organizing these actions were all for a
precise end. As the crowds so excitedly reiterated time and time again,
“Two Million is Too Many. Stop Deportations Now!”

At the end of the day, it was the inspiring community leaders and
activists, the community members and allies, the marchers and participants, and
undocumented, unafraid, families and individuals, who really stole the show!
When one considers all this and all the work and community organizing that is
yet to come but most certainly will come, all we did was simply get
arrested. ​

Read More