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|9/21: The Battle Shifts to the Senate – More Calls Needed
Released 25 September 2006  By National Immigration Forum
The Battle Shifts to the Senate – More Calls Needed
National Immigration Forum
September 21, 2006
With the House having passed their anti-immigrant legislation, it is now up
to the Senate (where there is not as much of the panic about the low regard
of the public for Congress
that is driving the House to spend so much time creating fear of immigrants)
to stop enforcement-only legislation from passing. Still, it will take an
intense battle to stop the House effort to ram through enforcement-only
legislation at the end of the session.
The good news is that at least in some offices we have heard that Senators
are hearing from pro-immigrant voices, and there have been positive signs from
some Senators that the Senate will not go along with what the House has
For example, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a key player because he is Chair
of the Judiciary Committee as well as a member of the Homeland Security
Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, told reporters today that House
Republicans would have no incentive to work out differences with the Senate on a
comprehensive immigration overhaul if senators go along with the piecemeal
approach of the House. "We have to take care of a guest worker program, we
have to take care of employer verification, we have to take care of 11 million
undocumented workers," Specter said.
Other Senators who have made positive comments expressing concern about what
the House has done, or about the need to reform the immigration laws in a
comprehensive manner, include Senators Larry Craig (R-ID) and Dianne Feinstein
House Measures May be Attached to Spending Bills
The fence bill may pass when it is considered on Monday. The more worrisome
scenario is that the state and local enforcement and anti-due process bills
will be attached to bills allocating money for the Department of Homeland
Security (or possibly for Defense). Once that is done, it becomes extremely
difficult to stop, because that requires Senators to vote against funding for
the entire Department of Homeland Security—a politically difficult move.
The object, then, is to prevent the House measures from being attached to
the Spending bills in the first place. That will take calls to your Senators
and to Senate appropriators.
Continue your calls to Senate offices!!!!!
- Tell your Senator that he or she should not allow enforcement-only
legislation to be attached to spending bills.
- Also tell your Senator that the enforcement-only approach taken by
the House will only make matters worse, and that only comprehensive immigration
- Tell your Senator to vote no on the Fence bill, H.R. 6061.
The following Senators are key, as they are on the Homeland Security
Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee:
Senator Judd Gregg (Chairman) (NH)
Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
Senator Ted Stevens (AK)
Senator Arlen Specter (PA)
Senator Pete Domenici (NM)
Senator Richard Shelby (AL)
Senator Larry Craig (ID)
Senator Robert Bennett (UT)
Senator Wayne Allard (CO)
Senator Robert C. Byrd (Ranking Member) (WV)
Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Senator Harry Reid (NV)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
You can find contact information for all Senators here:
You can also check out this action alert from the American Immigration
More on what can be done, from AILA:
If you can make additional calls other that to the offices of your Senators,
call the Senators on the Appropriations Committee listed above. It would be
good especially to thank Senators Specter, Feinstein, and Craig, for their
comments in the press supportive of a comprehensive approach.
House Passes Anti-Immigrant Legislation
This afternoon, the House passed two enforcement bills that would, among
other things, allow state and local police to enforce civil immigration laws and
would shield the government from accountability for misdeeds or
misapplication of immigration law towards certain immigrants. Since these bills were
taken from the Sensenbrenner bill, H.R. 4437, which passed the House last
December, it was not a surprise that the House voted for these measures again.
Click on the links below to see how your member voted
Community Protection Act:
Immigration Law Enforcement Act
With no provision for increasing legal channels for immigration, and having
passed a bill to construct fencing on the U.S./Mexican border, House leaders
figured they would need an anti-tunneling bill. That bill, the Border Tunnel
Prevention Act, also passed, by a vote of 422 to nothing:
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