Many amendments to the immigration reform bill are being considered in the Senate this week. Some of these amendments seriously restrict the pathway to citizenship. FAN urges calls to the Senate today and all week as these amendments are argued. Calls have been very helpful so far, as Senator Grassley's amendment #1195, which would have delayed the initial step of the path to citizenship until DHS had maintained effective control of the border for 6 months was tabled 57-43.
Protect the immigration bill from amendments that would delay or narrow the path to citizenship.
Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with your Senators. You can also call the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or find Senators' direct lines at www.senate.gov.
Feel free to use this sample script:
"I am from [City, State, Congregation], and I support immigration reform. As a person of faith, I urge the Senator to vote NO to Senator Rubio's amendment #1225, and to amendments sponsored by Senators Grassley, Cornyn, Thune, and Vitter, which would significantly delay the path to citizenship and make it less accessible for our undocumented community members."
More information on amendments being considered:
OPPOSE SENATOR RUBIO'S AMENDMENT #1225
Senator Rubio's amendment #1225 would mandate that in order for those with RPI status to get a green card, they would have to meet the same eligibility requirements for English and civics as someone applying for citizenship - which is a much higher bar than currently in place for people adjusting their status to lawful permanent residency (LPR). This would restrict a lot of people from being able to adjust to LPR, and thus from being able to sponsor their family members for reunification. The standard currently set in the bill, to allow people in RPI status to adjust to LPR if they are "satisfactorily pursuing a course of study...to achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and Government of the United States" should remain, so individuals can adjust to LPR and continue learning English to prepare for the citizenship exam.
OPPOSE SENATOR GRASSLEY'S AMENDMENT #1195
Senator Grassley's amendment #1195 would significantly delay access to the initial registration process of the path to citizenship. It would prevent our undocumented community members from obtaining Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPI) status until the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) certifies to Congress that DHS has maintained “effective control” over the entire southern border for six months.
OPPOSE SENATOR CORNYN'S "RESULTS" AMENDMENT
Senator Cornyn's RESULTS amendment would mandate unreasonable triggers that could inevitably delay the path to citizenship and increases enforcement costs without a clear strategy and purpose. The Department of Homeland Security would have to ensure 100% situational awareness of the border, full operational control, and fully implement a nationwide employment verification system and biometric entry and exit system at all air and sea ports of entry. This would cost around $24 billion, mostly for adding 10,000 officer and agents. These are extremely high costs for expenditures that lack clear justification.
OPPOSE SENATOR VITTER'S AMENDMENTS
Senator Vitter's amendments #1201 and #1228 would needlessly delay the pathway to citizenship until DHS implements US-VISIT (biometric border check-in and out system) and Congress confirms that this has been sufficiently implemented. Not only would this unnecessarily delay the already lengthy 13-year pathway to citizenship, but it would be very difficult for congress to confirm that the US-VISIT system has been sufficiently implemented, especially given the political dynamics inherent in such a vote, and thus requiring congress to confirm could inevitably delay the path to citizenship.
OPPOSE SENATOR THUNE'S AMENDMENTS
Senator Thune's amendment #1196 would delay the initial step of the path to citizenship - RPI status - until all Southern Border governors approve the Department of Homeland Security's Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and certify that the strategy has been substantially implemented. Thune's amendment #1197 would require the completion of the 350 miles of reinforced, double-layered fencing before RPI status may be granted and to require the completion of 700 miles of such fencing before those with RPI status can get green cards. This would not only delay the 13-year path to citizenship but doubles down on an ineffective and destructive fencing strategies that have cost U.S. taxpayers well over $49 billion. Thune's #1197 would go even further, and in the meantime needlessly delay the path to citizenship.
Follow @InterfaithImm on Twitter and "like" the Interfaith Immigration Coalition on Facebook to receive the most up-to-date alerts on amendments being considered in the Senate floor debate. Find Your Senators' Twitter names on their websites (http://www.senate.gov) and urge them to support positive amendments and oppose negative amendments by tweeting @[their twitter name]. Ex: "@Sen_JoeManchin As a WV person of faith I support #immigrationreform. Please oppose Grassley #1195 which would delay #pathtocitizenship #cir"