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The National Immigrant Solidarity Network (ISN) is a coalition of immigrant rights, labor, human rights, religious, and student activist organizations from across the country. We work with leading immigrant rights, students and labor groups. In solidarity with their campaigns, and organize community immigrant rights education campaigns.

From legislative letter-writing campaigns to speaker bureaus and educational materials, we organize critical immigrant-worker campaigns that are moving toward justice for all immigrants!

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Immigration Legislation Watch

6/28: Senate Killed the Immigration Bill, Statements from National Immigrant Solidarity Network

Lee Siu Hin
National Coordinator
National Immigrant Solidarity Network

Today (6/28), the Senate killed the immigration bill by 46 to 53 vote, meaning that the issue is most likely dead until after the 2008 elections.

It's an unfortunate but expected outcome for a immigrant bill that almost no one supports. The proposal is unacceptable and unreasonable, most community-based organizations had against the bill while only few "pro-immigrant" Democratic and President Bush will supports it, at end--also ironically, we helped the right-wing anti-immigrant groups to claim "credits" for their work on defeating the bill.

This is NOT an "amnesty" bill, this is a bill will continue and even expand the institutional racist and oppressive measures to against the immigrant communities, escalating the militarization of the border, and giving migrants empty and unrealistic promises for path to the citizenship (For the detailed analysis, please go:

Lessons we should learn:

1) The Failure of "Bi-Partisan" Politics: We should NEVER expect "moderate" Republicans--and many Democratic--will cooperate honestly to push for a truly bi-partisan immigrant legislation that will be benefit us. We should also NEVER expect most Democratic leaderships (although they are better then Republicans) will have courage to draft a true immigrant legislation that will be benefit us--just like what happened on the recent Military budget and Iraqi funding bill.

2) Never Accepts "Less Then Perfect": Some bill supporters had been misleading and even threaten to say if we don't accepts the "less then perfect" bill--we'll never get anything. In reality, we cannot supports the bill because it's far worse then "less then perfect." No one should arguing "separation but equal" is the best solution for our survival. We should ask for the best, fight for the best and push for the best!

3) Know Your Friends, Never Say Never: The latest immigrant legislation shows the disconnections between most Congressional leaderships/major organizations, vs. the community-based organizations at the local level. The true people's movement should be bottoms-up from the community, not tops-down from the organization's headquarters by experts and leaders. A true immigrant rights/civil rights/human rights movements should be build based on mutual understanding, trust and honest exchange of ideas, and to build a equal partnerships to work together.

The fight for rights and dignity for all immigrants is a long-term struggle, it won't change only for one legislation--it's a life-long struggle, it need decades--even generations of activists tirelessly fighting before we'll able to achieve our success.

Let's all hope from the lessons we learn today, we'll be more wiser and we'll be prevail.

Related Articles:

6/30: Immigration battle shifting to states, cities

6/30: Experts say failure of Senate immigration bill can be lesson for U.S. Congress

6/29: Immigrant Bill Dies in Senate; Defeat for Bush

6/28: NILC Statement on Senate Vote




6/28: Senate Blocks Effort to Revive Immigration Overhaul

5/25: National Immigrant Solidarity Network Statement about the recent Senate-White House Immigration Plan, TAKE ACTION TO OPPOSE IT!

Lee Siu Hin
National Coordinator
National Immigrant Solidarity Network

On Thursday May 17, key Democrat and Republican members of the Senate had reached a compromise immigrant agreement with the President Bush after months of closed-door negotiations.

The proposal is unacceptable and unreasonable, and we want encourage everyone to call your Senator and White to oppose it! [click here for more info]

This is NOT an "amnesty" bill, this is a bill will continue and even expand the institutional racist and oppressive measures to against the immigrant communities, escalating the militarization of the border, and giving migrants empty and unrealistic promises for path to the citizenship.

Here's several important points, compiled from several immigrant organizations

1. False Path to Citizenship
The path to legalization for undocumented immigrants encompassed by the proposed renewable "Z" visa is an onerous burden. The initial $5,000 fee is excessive. This amount is 14 times the typical weekly salary of most immigrants. There is an additional fee at the end of the process and it is estimated that the fees could total approximately $11,000. It appears that the administration wishes to cut the deficit on the backs of the undocumented.

The cruelest joke is that border enforcement triggers must be met and the backlog must be cleared before legalization and new worker provisions can be implemented. The implementation of border provisions is estimated to take two years and the estimation to clear the visa backlog is eight years. Conceivably it could be determined that border provisions are not met or that additional years are needed to meet the trigger provisions. Tacking on the estimated eight years to process under this legalization, it may take 16 or more years before a person can become a permanent resident.

The argument is that this is needed so these individuals don't go to the front of the line. This is a specious argument because if Congress truly was concerned about going to the front of the line it would have repealed the Cuban Adjustment Act which allows any Cuban after one year entry into the United States legally or illegally to go in front of everyone citizen and permanent resident alike in order to be to be granted permanent resident status. Clearly this measure is designed only to punish.

2. Elimination and Reduction of certain family-based categories
Visas for parents of U.S. citizens would be capped, while green cards for the siblings and adult children of U.S. citizens and green card holders are entirely eliminated. While applications in the current backlog would be cleared within 8 years, anyone who applied after May 2005 would have to reapply. This will have a tremendous impact on South Asians who have relied on the family-based system for decades to reunify families.

In addition, a new merit-based point system for green cards is created for all applications received after May 2005. This would create a massive boondoggle.The point system criteria is set by Congress and cannot be modified for 14 years. Our economy is then strapped by this policy that has been set in stone. The economic implications of this is enormous. Adjustments to a fast moving economy can not be made. This becomes a recipe for economic disaster. This point system also creates an inequitable move away from the present family based visa system that has served America well and has contributed to America's ability to compete in the world market. The present employment based visa system is not broke. It needs expansion in order to address unmet labor needs especially with respect to unskilled labor.

3. Criminization of the immigrant communities
The proposal allows criminalizing the immigrant communities by empowering local police to enforce immigration law, and pushing "tougher" background checks on immigrants. There are due process concerns with the expansion of immigrant detention, stiffening of the definitions of "aggravated felony" and "fraud" and issues relating to state and local law enforcement.

4.New Guest Workers Programs
The new guest worker program is unworkable. It is counterintuitive that an employer will continue to employ a worker after an employee's forced one year departure. This is a provision designed to fail.

5. Militarization of the Border
The bill calls for spending billions of dollars to build a so-called a "high-tech" border fence along U.S.-Mexico border, it'll force migrants to go though even more dangerous journey, it'll be creating more border deaths with tragedies, and only fatten the pockets of the migrant smugglers. This is a racist wall because it only targets the Mexican border but not the Canadian border. Rather than building fences the U.S. should be engaging in dialog with our neighbors to the North and South of us to address the complex issue of unlawful migration.

6. Failure to Address Thousands of TPS Applicants
Based on the wording of the proposed legislation hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients do not qualify for any type of legalization because they are not in an unlawful status. Legalization for these people must be allowed.

Given that past U.S. immigration policies have changed year-to-year there is no guarantee that "good" elements of this bill will remain and that bad elements will not increase. In the end, undocumented immigrants will forced to choose an"illegal" way to enter and stay in this country because of excessive costs and the barriers to take the "legal" way.

It is unacceptable that immigrants must pay excessive fees in the thousands of dollars and will be required to depart the United States in order to begin the process to apply for permanent resident status. The burdensome nature of this bill confirms that the main objective of this immigrant bill is to punish undocumented immigrants!

The destiny of 12 millions or more undocumented immigrants is one of the critical human rights issues in the U.S., we need a comprehensive immigration reform bill that will guarantee path to the citizenship with dignity. We cannot accept any bills that will criminalize immigrant communities and enforcing punishments, because immigrant workers are not "illegal," and we deserve respect and basic human rights.

Link to the article


We encourage you to call the Congress and the White House, say NO to the proposal, and Yes to our 10 points of immigrant rights:

1) No to anti-immigrant legislation, and the criminalization of the immigrant communities.
2) No to militarization of the border.
3) No to the immigrant detention and deportation.
4) No to the guest worker program.
5) No to employer sanction and "no match" letters.
6) Yes to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
7) Yes to speedy family reunification.
8) Yes to civil rights and humane immigration law.
9) Yes to labor rights and living wages for all workers.
10) Yes to the education and LGBT immigrant legislation.

White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111

Contact Your Senator:

Related Articles:

5/21: LULAC Opposes Senate Immigration Compromise

5/18: Lutheran Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Express Grave Concern That Senate Immigration Deal Devalues Families

5/18: Senate Immigration Deal Raises Serious Concerns for South Asian

5/17: Senators Reach Agreement to Proceed on Immigration Reform

Our Responds to the Recent President Bush and Congress's Immigration Proposals

Lee Siu Hin
National Coordinator
National Immigrant Solidarity Network

April 11, 2007

Immigrant issue once again become the hot topic at Washington. Last month, the Congress introduced bi-partisan STRIVE Act (The Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act, H.R. 1645), and last week President Bush unveils his new immigration proposal, they both calls for comprehensive immigration reform.

Bush's proposals, along with Congress's STRIVE Act have many similarities, while they both advocate for "path to the citizenships" includes granting work visas to undocumented immigrants and eventually permanent resident status. But that's a serious flaw--it requires them to return to home and pay hefty fines to become legal U.S. residents, they also need to go though a very tough background check by the government.

Under President Bush's plan, they could apply for three-year work visas, dubbed "Z" visas, which would be renewable indefinitely but cost $3,500 each time. The undocumented workers would have legal status with the visas, but to become legal permanent residents with a green card, they'd have to return to their home country, apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate to re-enter legally and pay a $10,000 fine, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Even worse, both bill allows criminalizing the immigrant communities by empowering local police to enforce immigration law, and pushing "tougher" background checks on immigrants.

The proposal is unrealistic because there's no guarantee when they leave the country, they can return, nor how long it'll take fan applicants to apply and receive their visa at foreign U.S. embassy so they can able to return to the country.

Giving the facts that past U.S. immigration policies could change-year-to-year from better to worse, there's no guarantee that if the bill passes, "good" element of the bill will be able to keep, but the "bad" elements of the bill will be remain. At the end, it'll force undocumented immigrants to continue to choose "illegal" way to enter and stay in this country, because it cost too much and very difficult to do it "legal" way.

We cannot accept immigrants need to pay thousands of dollars of "fine" and "fees" to apply for visa, go through the humiliation of tougher background check, and require them to leave country to apply immigrant visas in order to return to the country. This is a immigrant bill that still penalizing undocumented immigrants!

Furthermore, the Bush proposal and the STRIVE Act both calls for spending billions of dollars to build a so-called a "high-tech" border fence along U.S.-Mexico border, it'll force migrants to go though even more dangerous journey, it'll be creating more border deaths with tragidies, and only fatten the pockets of the migrant smugglers. This is a racist wall because it only target Mexican border but not Canadian border.

The destiny of 12 millions or more undocumented immigrants is one of the critical human rights issues in the U.S., we need a comprehensive immigration reform bill that will guarantee path to the citizenship with dignity. We cannot accept any bills that will criminalizing immigrant communities and enforcing punishments, because immigrant workers are not "illegal," and we deserve our respects and the basic human rights.

On May Day 2007, we are calling immigrant, community, labor and human rights activists across the country to organize march and action to support immigrant workers rights. For more information, please visit:

This is a multi-ethnic, decentralized actions to support immigrant workers rights at May Day 2007, and to denounce President Bush's immigration proposal, and to demand Congress to redraft their propose bill.

Understanding the connections between our individual conditions of life and the lives of people everywhere in the word allows us to come together and organize across all borders. WE NEED to build a multiethnic unity between: immigrant communities, African American community, labor, interfaith and peace activist to fight for our common goals.

Let's all come together on May Day 2007, to build a new immigrant rights
and civil rights movements!

3/23: New Immigrant Bill Introduced at Congress: STRIVE Act of 2007

The Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act (STRIVE Act H.R. 1645)

H.R. 1645, Introduced by Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and 28 other original co-sponsors on March 22, 2007. Among other things, the bill tightens borer security and interior enforcement, establishes an employment verification system, provides a new worker program for the future flow of immigrant workers, overhauls the family immigration system to reduce backlogs, contains an earned legalization program for the undocumented living in the U.S., and facilitates the integration of immigrants.

The Full 697-pages bill

A four-page overview | A longer 12-page summary

Analysis from Arizona Congress Watch

Related News

3/29: White House works behind the scenes for immigration reform

The administration has been meeting with key Republican senators to devise a consensus plan aimed at garnering wide GOP support >> Read More

3/23: Doubts Arise on Immigration Bill’s Chances

House lawmakers stood before the television cameras on Thursday and hailed the introduction of a new measure to secure the border and move millions of undocumented immigrants toward citizenship >> Read More

3/26 MAPA/HML Statement on STRIVE ACT

3/22: LULAC Statement on STRIVE Act

3/22: SEIU Statement on STRIVE Act

3/22: NIF Statement on STRIVE Act

3/22: NCLR Statement on STRIVE Act

April: Two Major Immigrant Legislative Confernec/Action in Washington D.C.

4/27-28 Washington D.C.: Detention Watch Network conference

The 2007 DWN Conference is an opportunity for members to re-connect, re-energize and strengthen their collaboration. The need for focused public education, coordinated advocacy and resource-sharing has never been greater >> Read More

4/30-5/1 Washington D.C.: Organizations Call for Historic National APA Mobilization for Just and Humane Immigration Reform

Organizations nationwide are calling for a national mobilization of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) to Washington DC. On April 30 – May 1, 2007, this 2-day event will include community dialogues, legislative visits, and a rally in the Capital >> Read More

3/22: Recent Sign-On Letters from Major Immigrant Organizations

For the past several weeks, several national immigrant organizations and coalitions had circulated their sign-on letters to promote their vision of the immigrant reform:

March 2007: "Unity Bule Print" for Immigrtant Reform

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) 3/12-13 Advocacy Day Statement

3/5: Detention Watch Network Principle Sign-On Letter to the Congress

Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CCIR) February 2007: PRINCIPLES FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

3/29 Illinois: Immigrant driver bill approved by House

>> Read More

3/26 AZ: Immigration hawks seek to put two measures on Arizona's ballot

Advocates for tougher border enforcement filed two proposed ballot measures in Arizona that would make it a state crime to knowingly hire those who sneak in the country and criminalize the presence of undocumented immigrants in the state >> Read More

3/27 Morristown, NJ: City council endorses immigrant crackdown

The Morristown Council voted 6-1 tonight to endorse the mayor's effort to get the town's police deputized as federal immigration officers despite a protest by hundreds of people >> Read More


[Somos Raza] We the undersigned youth and student led organizations do not recognize the measures that congress tries to impose on us without consulting with us, and without a dialogue. We are opposed to a DREAM ACT that will send us to war forcibly. You do not speak in our name. Our dream will not be a nightmare! >> Read More

2/25: Citizenship requests soar before changes

Citizenship applications are skyrocketing in Southern California and across the nation, as green card holders rush to avoid a proposed fee increase, a revised civics test and possible changes in immigration law >> Read More

2/23: Urge Congress to Support Hate Crimes Prevention Act

This legislation brings much needed uniformity to federal hate crime laws and reflects the growing support for stronger hate crime legislation on the state level. State and federal governments should not tolerate any form of bias-motivated violence >> Read More

2/22: ‘Immigrants Bring Crime’ Is a Myth

Government and academic studies prove decisively that the common belief that immigrants, especially undocumented ones, bring criminality is based on a big lie >> Read More

Jan 29, 2007 Washigton D.C. Congressional Lobby
and National Call-In Day for Immigrant Rights

Organized by: National Immigrant Solidarity Network

On Monday, January 29, a group of us, representatives from San Francisco La Raza Legal Centro, National Organization of Women, veterans and I met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi's staff on immigration and present our open letter and exchanges ideas on the immigration issues. In addition, thank you for everyone who had visited and call your representatives at the Call-In day, at dozen states. >> Read the Congressional Lobby Day Report

More Details | More Information About the Open Letter | Endorse the Letter

Bring the Mandate for Peace to Washington DC
Jan. 27-29, 2007 March and Lobbying Day

Organized by: United For Peace & Justice (UFPJ), endorsed by National Immigrant Solidarity Network (NISN)

Join United for Peace and Justice ( in a massive march on Washington, D.C., on Sat., January 27, 2007 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the war. On Mon, January 29, UFPJ will call for Congressional Lobbying Day, NISN will support the UFPJ call and organize immigrant Congressional visit and lobbying at the same day, we encourage peace and immigrant rights activists to come to Washington D.C., tell the new Congress: Act NOW to Bring the Troops Home! And Support Full Amnesty to the Immigrants!

For more information, please contact NISN DC field office
Tel: (202)595-8990 e-mail:


1/1/07: Getting Ready for the 110th Congress-An Analysis

National Immigration Forum

The 109th Congress concluded with no further mischief created on immigration policy. In fact, the Congress did not even complete the minimum work for which they are responsible-passing the government's budget-instead funding most of the government in a "continuing resolution" until February 15, 2007, and handing off the responsibility to the 110th Congress.

Since the election, Members of Congress have been busy re-organizing themselves. While the details of who will chair the subcommittees are still being finalized, the broad-stroke picture is that immigration restrictionists will be in a weaker position in the 110th Congress. The hard-line restrictionists who were in a position to block immigration reform-in the House in particular-have either been booted out of office or, by virtue of the Republicans' loss of control of the House and thus of the Committees, have been demoted.

While the opponents of comprehensive reform have been demoted, it is still, basically, a 50-50 Congress representing a 50-50 country. Comprehensive immigration reform will not come easily. Any sound immigration legislation that might pass must have bi-partisan support. Republican divisions on immigration have been much in the news until now because Republicans held the reigns of power. Now that the Democrats are in charge, divisions in their ranks will come under the magnifying glass. To pass comprehensive reform, the Democratic leadership will need Republican votes. As with just about any issue, any legislation that stands a chance of enactment will require compromise.

Still, there is a window of opportunity for comprehensive reform. Both the House and Senate leadership (as well as the President) are now talking about comprehensive immigration reform being a priority. If actually treated as a priority, there could be action prior to the time, later in the year, when Presidential politics complicates the immigration debate. >> Read More

AFTER NOVEMBER 7, 2006: The Mid-Term Elections and Immigration

[The Immigrant Legal Resource Center] The November mid-term election was a repudiation of the Republican majority and a strong protest against the status quo -- whatever the status quo voters were registering their opposition to: the war in Iraq, Congressional corruption, the economy, or terrorism. And this mid-term election was largely focused on national, not local, issues.

Immigration Not A Wedge Issue: Republican leadership tried, but failed, to make immigration the wedge issue that would ensure their continued control of Congress after aggressively promoting an enforcement-only measure (H.R.4437) as their solution to reforming our broken immigration system. In fact, exit polling as reported by the Washington Post found that fewer than one in three cited immigration 'as extremely important in influencing their decision, and they only narrowly favored Republican candidates. About six in 10 voters said that they believe illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal status'.. Democratic candidates won support from 61 percent of those who backed a path to citizenship, according to the poll.

Election Results: As a result of this election, aÿsignificant number of candidates were defeated who, given their records, would have supported anti-immigrant and anti-immigration measures in the new 110th Congress that will convene next January. Who were they? Minuteman Randy Graf (R-AZ -- who ran for the seat of retiring Representative Jim Kolbe); J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), John Hostettler (R-IN -- the chair in the 109th Congress of the House Immigration Subcommittee), Chris Chocola (R-IN), Anne Northup (R-KY), Melissa Hart (R-PA), Bob Beauprez (R-CO -- who lost his race for Governor), Charles Taylor (R-NC), Gil Gutknecht (R-MN), and Richard Pombo (R-CA). Many of those defeated are members of the so-called Immigration Reform Caucus (headed by Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO)) whose ranks have been reduced by the results of this mid-term election. >> Read

11/10: Focus on Election Results

[Immigration News Briefs] Voters Reject Many Anti-Immigrant Campaigns; Georgia: Republicans Gain, Voters Split; Arizona Vote: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Colorado Vote: More Ballot Initiatives; Election Results Elsewhere: A Mixed Bag >> Read

11/10: In Arizona, Minutemen lost more than House hopeful on Election Day

[Arizona Daily Star] Despite the Minutemen's all-out effort to get Republican Graf into the congressional seat vacated by fellow Republican Jim Kolbe, their man lost his bid - in a Republican-dominated district - to Democrat Gabrielle Giffords >> Read

Press Release: “The Surprise Winner of this Year’s Election Is…Comprehensive Immigration Reform” by the National Immigration Forum

Analysis of 2006 Elections by the American Immigration Lawyers Association

Washington Times: Bush Eyes Democrats for Help on Amnesty

The Hill: House GOP's immigration strategy no ‘magic bullet’

10/18: Bush Signs the Detainee Bill - Welcome to Martial Law?

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
October 17, 2006

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) denounced President Bush's signing into law of the Military Commissions Act (MCA) on October 17, 2006. The final version of the bill emerged only four days before the Senate's 11th hour vote. Although President Bush declared that "time was of the essence" when he called for the legislation, he has waited nearly two weeks to sign it into law. Congress has once again been cowed into doing the President's bidding and abdicated their Constitutional powers in the process, say attorneys.

The new law strips the right of non-citizens to seek review of their detention by a court through the filing of a writ of habeas corpus, the venerated legal instrument that for centuries has protected people from arbitrary detention, disappearance and indefinite detention without charge. The Act is also meant to erase the hundreds of habeas corpus petitions that CCR and others have brought on behalf of many of the 450 men being held at Guantánamo Bay, a move already once denied by the Supreme Court. >> Read

Articles, Analysis:

Q and A: Military Commissions Act of 2006 (Human Rights Watch)

Download the Report

2006 Report on Migrant Deaths at the US-Mexico Border

10/17: Detainee bill a step backwards (Denver Post Opinion)

10/18: America, Welcome to Martial Law? (Media Monitors Network)

9/30: Anti-Immigrant/Border Fence Bills Passed
Lessons we should learn, and what is our next stage of the struggle?

Despite repeat appeal from the activists, the U.S. Senate, approved the outrageous and racist detainee bill (S. 3930) and another multi-billion dollars for immoral war in Iraq and Afghanistan (H.R.5631). At the House, they passed the wire tap bill (H.R. 5825) and several other anti-immigrant bills (H.R. 4844, H.R. 6089, H.R. 6090 and H.R. 6091).

Recent U.S. House's Anti-Immigrant Legislation