LULAC Commentary: Oppose HR 5541 (The Homeland Security Appropriation Act)
While the U.S. Senate debate concluded in the passage of Senate Bill, the U.S. House is considering passing legislation under the Appropriations Committee that would impose immigration status restrictions.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is calling on its members and friends to call their respective Representatives in Congress and demand that they reverse the anti-immigrant amendments that undercut the civil rights of millions of innocent immigrant workers and their families. These proposed amendments not only infringe on the civil rights of the Latino community at large, but they will exacerbate the immigration backlog and challenge the direct authority of the Supreme Court.
Harmful amendments that are being proposed by Republicans in the House include:
Tancredo: This amendment aims to eliminate the humanitarian Temporary Protected Status program for Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Campbell: This amendment denies funding for any attempts to preserve confidentiality of information furnished by immigrants. Such confidentiality is necessary to encourage undocumented individuals to come out of the shadows. So rather than improving the security intelligence of the United States, this amendment compromises it.
Culberson/Kingston: This amendment is short-sighted and counter-productive. It exacerbates the already large and unwieldy immigration backlog by cutting off funding for processing of non-specialty occupation immigration applications until all current pending background checks by the FBI are done, a process that could take years to finish.
Deal/ Kingston: This amendment ultimately aims to prevent the U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants from becoming citizens. It unnecessarily targets innocent individuals, forcing them to remain in the shadows of society. It is mean-spirited, unconstitutional, and does nothing to resolve real immigration problems.
Doolittle: This amendment seeks to circumvent a federal court decision ensuring that nationals of El Salvador, many of whom have credible asylum claims, receive a court hearing prior to removal.
Culberson: This amendment is short-sighted and counterproductive. It exacerbates the already large and unwieldy immigration backlog by imposing a moratorium on new immigration until all current pending background checks by the FBI are done, a process that could take years to finish.
Kingston: This amendment limits the ability of U.S. and Mexican government authorities to curb the unauthorized activities of the Minutemen and other private border patrol groups along the U.S.-Mexican border, which President George W. Bush has dubbed vigilante behavior.
Poe: This amendment puts an even heavier burden on already overwhelmed state and local law enforcement officers by providing funding for a program to train such officers in immigration enforcement, diluting their extraordinary efforts at providing security and assistance to U.S. citizens internally.
Editor’s Note: The League of the United Latin American Citizen (www.lulac.org) advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Latino-Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.