jueves, marzo 16, 2006

A model letter to your Senator

(This sample letter lifted wholesale from Sojourner’s Compassion, not Criminalization Campaign)

Dear Senator ____________:

I am writing to express my concern for immigrants in this country and the churches, community organizations, and civic institutions that help them. As you know, the House of Representatives passed the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) in December. This bill, if enacted into law, would expand the definition of smuggling so broadly that anyone who aids undocumented immigrants, even in providing basic services, could be legally prosecuted. This law penalizes many faith-based organizations that provide direct services to those in need.

As a person of faith, I urge you to pursue compassion instead of criminalization. I hope you will reject punitive measures that harm immigrants and those who help them. Over the coming days and weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee - and possibly the full Senate - will consider immigration proposals.

I am concerned about the Senate Judiciary Committee bill, currently being debated, as well as legislation reportedly being introduced by Majority Leader Bill Frist. Either bill might ultimately include all or many of these provisions: deny refugees adequate protection if they have used false documentation to escape an oppressor, impose a guilty until proven innocent standard for immigrants, and limit judicial review. Both efforts also fail to provide a path to citizenship for hard-working undocumented immigrants; instead merely creating a permanent subclass of guest workers.

Please oppose any bill resembling HR 4437. Instead of approving legislation with any of these troubling provisions, I hope that you will urge your colleagues, especially Majority Leader Frist and those on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to support comprehensive immigration reform that works to unite families, reward work, and create opportunities for all. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing your response to this matter.

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