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|2/28: Senate debate and the CLEAR Act
Released 05 March 2006  By National Immigration Forum
Senate debate and the CLEAR Act
February 28 - National Immigration Forum
The Senate is poised to take up an immigration reform bill. The starting proposal is a conglomeration of ideas from various immigration bills already introduced, and was drafted by Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA).
The bill as drafted includes many of the outrageous provisions that passed the House as part of the Sensenbrenner-King bill (HR 4437). Fortunately, the CLEAR Act provisions that passed as part of HR 4437 were not included in the Senate draft.
However, it is apparent that proponents of legislation like the CLEAR Act will be looking for ways to attach it to the bill that is moving. Also, provisions in the Specter draft do make 'unlawful presence' a crime and 'entry without inspection' an ongoing criminal offense, opening up the back door to local enforcement of immigration laws, if not the front door.
We need your help to strip these and other egregious 'enforcement' proposals from the bill, and to stop the more expansive provisions in the CLEAR Act from becoming added!
Please contact your senators now and let them know how you feel. Also, now is the time to gather letters, petitions, resolutions, quotes, et cetera from law enforcement, state and local government, and crime prevention allies. Just as in the last Congress, these letters and calls will be key to stopping this legislation from advancing.
As one member of Congress said before, it's hard to imagine a 'pro-enforcement' bill that is opposed by law enforcement! Problem is, this legislation would actually undermine public safety and community policing, by making immigrants less likely to report crimes or information. For more information, please visit: http://www.immigrationforum.org
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