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|UPDATE AND ACTION ALERT ON 9-11 COMISSION LEGISLATION
Released 14 October 2004  By National Immigration Forum
UPDATE AND ACTION ALERT ON 9-11 COMISSION LEGISLATION
As promised, below is an update on the status of the 9-11 recommendations legislation, suggestions for next steps on advocacy and related materials including talking points.
As always, feel free to contact any National Immigration Forum Program staff for questions/concerns at (202) 347-0047 or visit our website www.immigrationforum.org
WHAT HAPPENED TO H.R. 10 AND WHAT'S NEXT?
Even though the House Republican leadership bill (H.R. 10) ultimately passed with all of the bad immigration provisions intact, your voices were heard on Capitol Hill. You were successful in portraying the House measures as controversial, a message that is important to emphasize as we move into the next phase of this legislation's life cycle. For a short description of immigration provisions in the final bill please see bottom of this update.
The next step in the legislative process is for the House and Senate bills to go to a "conference committee" where the different bills will be reconciled and a final version will emerge that will be resubmitted and easily pass the entire Congress. The House and Senate have already selected the "conferees" that make up this committee. We now have a second chance to impact what will be a final outcome of this bill by communicating our concerns with the House legislation.
WHAT'S OUR STRATEGY?
In the next couple of days it is imperative to contact the Senate and House conferees, other members of the House and Senate, Congressional leadership, and the White House.
Conferees and others senators/representatives need to hear from their constituents as soon as possible. They are most likely to be in their home offices until they return to discuss the bill. Face to face meetings with staff, organizational letters/faxes, emails, and phone calls are all in order. If your senators and/or representatives are members of the conference committee, we want to ask them to make sure the House-passed immigration provisions are not part of the bill that emerges from the conference committee. We want them to push for adoption of the Senate language instead.
The conferees in the Senate are as follows:
Susan Collins, R-ME
George Voinovich, R-OH
Mike DeWine, R-OH
Norm Coleman, R-MN
John Sununu, R-NH
Pat Roberts, R-KS
Trent Lott, R-MS
Joe Lieberman, D-CT
Carl Levin, D-MI
Richard Durbin, D-IL
John Rockefeller, D-WV
Bob Graham, D-FL
Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ
The House conferees have not been finally named yet but various press accounts have identified the following members as likely conferees:
Peter Hoekstra, R-MI
Henry Hyde, R-IL
David Dreier, R-CA
Roy Blunt, R-MO
Duncan Hunter, R-CA
Jane Harman, D-CA
Ike Skelton, D-MO
Robert Menendez, D-NJ
When announcing the names of conferees, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) reaffirmed the importance of keeping the 9-11 recommendations bill bipartisan and non-controversial. We are hopeful that these marching orders will be heeded by all involved in the House-Senate conference committee.
Timing as to when the conferees will meet is not very clear˜latest information indicates staff meetings have already started. In addition, we do know that the 9-11 families are pressing for action on the bill (supporting the Senate version) and that the President may wish to sign a bill before the elections, which gives us a short window to push for our position.
If your senators and/or representatives are not members of the conference committee, we still need their support. We want to ask them to convey concerns about the House-passed immigration provisions with their House and Senate colleagues who are conferees. Again, the ultimate goal is to encourage adoption of the Senate-passed language.
In addition to contacting your own senators and representative, it is also important to contact the leadership of both parties in both chambers:
Senators Bill Frist, R-TN
Susan Collins, R-ME
Joe Lieberman, D-CT
Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-IL
Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-TX
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA
Please see the Contacts section in this update for phone, mail, email, etc. information for all senators and representatives and for the White House.
As you meet with or hear back from your members of Congress and Congressional leadership, we would love to know what kind of response you are getting and if any follow-up from DC-based groups is needed. Please contact Vanessa Cárdenas at the National Immigration Forum firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 383-5984 with any updates or questions you may have.
HOUSE AND SENATE 9-11 BILL SUMMARY
The House bill on the 9-11 Commission recommendations, H.R. 10, passed last week by a 282-134 vote, with all but 8 Republicans voting in favor of it. You can see how your representative voted by following this link: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2004/roll523.xml
Title III of the final bill contains the following harmful immigration-related provisions:
· Makes all individuals who entered the U.S. without inspection subject to expedited removal unless they have been physically present for more than 5 years.
· Makes legal presence a requirement to obtain a driver's license in all 50 states, and ties the expiration date of a non-citizens‚ license to his or her visa.
· Places new barriers on asylum-seekers.
· Eliminates judicial review of a variety of immigration decisions.
· Allows for the indefinite detention of certain foreign nationals who have been ordered removed, even if they have been granted some kind of immigration relief.
· Prohibits the recognition of consular identification cards by federal agencies.
· Makes visa revocation a ground for removal and prohibits all administrative and judicial review of the revocation decision.
· Removes foreign nationals to countries that haven‚t consented to their return or who have no functioning government, exposing them to human rights abuses.
In addition to these immigration law changes, the bill contains a variety of surveillance and law enforcement provisions that have been billed "PATRIOT 2" measures, many of which will impact immigrants. Visit the Bill of Rights Defense Committee's web site at http://www.bordc.org/hr10 for specifics.
In the Senate, the "National Intelligence Reform Act" (S.2845) passed on October 6 by a vote of 96-2. This is a truly bipartisan bill that focuses on the 9-11 Commission recommendations. You can see the Senate vote by following this link:
If you would like to get a copy of the final House and Senate bills please send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign On Letters- In addition to sending your own letters and faxes to members of Congress, we are asking that you join on our "sign-on letter" (attached) which will be sent to the House and Senate early next week. Unfortunately, the turn-around time for this letter is very short because we've been told that, in order to have an impact, materials should get to the Hill ASAP. Please send us your sign-on request (organizations only, please) to email@example.com by noon on Tuesday, October 19.
If you are sending a letter on behalf of your organization, please send a copy to Judy Golub at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking Points- Please feel free to use the attached talking points in media interviews, letters to Congress, op-eds, or any other advocacy work you undertake.
For House/Senate members‚ contact information please visit:
Or by calling the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202.224.3121.
To urge conferees to support the Bipartisan Senate Bill, send an email through the American Immigration Lawyer's Association website: http://www.aila.org/contentViewer.aspx?bc=10,3080,5940,6732
For the White House:
202.456.1111 (comment line) or 202.456.2461 (fax).
National Immigration Forum
American Immigration Lawyers Association
National Council of La Raza http://capwiz.com/nclr/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=6523876
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium http://188.8.131.52/files/HR10_NAPALC.pdf
Rights Working Group
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