Is this really the best that we can do?

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP, Justice Promoter

We’ve encouraged you to call your representatives to vote NO on two bills: The Securing America’s Future Act (also called the Goodlatte bill) and the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 (the Paul Ryan Compromise bill).  Here’s why:

  • Neither bills were crafted by or have bipartisan support.
  • Both make cuts to legal immigration by eliminating the diversity visa lottery and some forms of family-based immigration.
    • The Compromise Bill would end immigration of adult children and siblings of US citizens and would eliminate the diversity visa for immigrants from countries that don’t typically send many people to the US.
    • The Goodlatte bill would ultimately cut overall legal immigration by 25%, eliminating the diversity visa lottery and most family-based immigration. It would expand employer-based green cards by fewer than 50,000 a year.
  • Both significantly tighten asylum standards, making it easier for the government to detain and deport asylum seekers. (Attorney General Sessions recently decided that domestic and gang violence were not adequate reasons to seek asylum.) It allows ICE to detain parents and their children indefinitely.
  • Neither bill offers a satisfactory solution for Dreamers.
    • The Border Security Act creates a new form of legal status, called conditional nonimmigrant status, for DACA recipients and immigrants eligible for DACA. It is a six-year renewable option that can be renewed. This bill would allow DACA recipients to apply for green cards, making them eligible for citizenship after three to five years. The trouble is, they won’t be guaranteed to actually get green cards but will be given points based on English-language proficiency, military service, and employment.
    • The Securing American’s Future Act has no provisions for addressing current DACA recipients.
  • The Compromise bill has the promise of $25 billion for the wall that is tied to the issuance of merit-based visas. It’s a kind of immigrant blackmail.
  • Neither bills address the current situation of the separation of children from their parents, a policy being implemented by the administration.

So, if you haven’t called your representatives yet, please do.  The vote may come as early as Thursday.

Sr. Shawn Fitzpatrick, Staff Member Gaye Reissland, and Sr. Barb Kane stand for immigrants in Columbus.
Dominican Sisters of Peace Barbara Catalano (right), Marilyn Mihalic, (lower right) Daniel Weakland, and Alicia Alvarado join the “Families belong Together” rally in Akron.

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

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