Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Supporting Migrants and Refugees

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Dear Clint, 

As Congress continues to hold multiple hearings and introduce numerous bills on the issue of immigration, one recurring theme has emerged: over-reliance on immigration enforcement. Unfortunately, the atmosphere around immigration in the House and the Senate has focused on changing existing laws in a way that removes critical protections for vulnerable migrants and newcomers seeking refuge.

This continuing "enforcement-only" attitude in Congress began with the multitude of hearings last week, and continues with three hearings this week. Instead of protecting vulnerable migrants seeking refuge and protection in the United States, or creating an immigration system that reunites families, we see a push to detain, prosecute, and deport more and more refugees and migrants, often without due process.

Main points from last week's immigration hearings in the House and Senate include:
In addition to these hearings, the House Judiciary committee passed four bills out of committee and on to the full House of Representatives that decrease protections for children and asylum-seekers and massively increase interior enforcement through detention and deportation. We will keep you updated on the progress of those bills.

This week we will see another series of hearings in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee on the issue of border security, including topics such as root causes of Central American migration and addressing future flows of migrants across the border.

The use of enforcement without revising the current broken immigration laws hurts millions of families, children, and asylum-seekers. Please visit our Action Center to send a message to your Member of Congress urging them to instead support protections for vulnerable populations, provide due process for all newcomers, and support humane and just enforcement that ensures the safety of our communities rather than indiscriminately tearing them apart.

It is in challenging moments like this, when migrants and refugees most need support in calling for compassion and justice. Thank you for standing for welcome.

In peace,

Brittney Nystrom
Director for Advocacy

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