ALERT: Anti-immigrant legislation in the works!
The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R.3697) is bad news for immigrants, the growing sanctuary movement, and for all of our civil liberties. The bill masquerades as a public safety effort, but provides such a broad definition of “criminal gangs” and what it means to associate with a “criminal gang,” that both vulnerable communities and those that serve them are put at risk. This legislation creates a recipe for “guilt by association” that may increase racial profiling, and could even place people who have been victims of gang violence, domestic violence shelters, and churches at risk. For more information, see this excellent overview by the American Immigration Council.
Unfortunately, this bill just passed the House – and all of Utah’s representatives voted for it. The bill was introduced and passed in the House in just a week, while good immigration reform policy (like the DREAM Act) has had little activity for months. Next up: this bad bill moves on to the Senate for debate and votes.
Let’s stand up for immigrants and their families in Utah!
CALL TO ACTION
- Call on our Senators to reject the Criminal Alien Gang Act. This bill defines criminal affiliation so broadly that it creates “guilt by association”, creating overly broad and wrongful targeting that fails to make our communities safer.
- Ask Senator Hatch to co-sponsor the DREAM Act (S. 1615). Remind Senator Hatch that he originally co-sponsored this bill in 2001 and ask him to co-sponsor it once again. This bill is bipartisan and represents the will of the 78% of Americans who want to see Dreamers given a legal path to citizenship.
- Call on Senator Lee and your Representative to support the DREAM Act (S. 1615 and H.R. 3440). Already called your members of Congress to support the DREAM Act? Great! Now please call again. Our congressional reps need to continue to hear from constituents up until they take decisive action on immigration policy reform.
- Directly help DREAMers renew their DACA status. 154,000 Dreamers qualify to renew their DACA status on October 5th, and were given sudden notice that they must pay $495 to renew or face deportation. For many of these young people and students coming up with $500 with little notice is impossible. That’s why United We Dream set up the DACA Renewal Fund to collect donations to pay for DACA fees on behalf of these Dreamers. Consider making a contribution today.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. Mia Love (Congressional District 4): (202) 225-3011 (DC) // 801-996-8729 (West Jordan)
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Check here.
Key talking points
Urge your members of Congress to support passage of the DREAM Act that:
- Includes a legal pathway to citizenship
- Excludes exchanges for a border wall or increases in immigration enforcement measures
- Reflects the fact that family unity is a principal of the Utah Compact – we should not ask DREAMers to choose between themselves and their family members!
About the DREAM Act
DREAM Act (2017) S. 1615 and H.R. 3440 – This bill has been introduced 10 times since 2001 (when our own Senator Orrin Hatch was a co-sponsor of the original version), but has never passed both the House or the Senate in the same session. In July of this year, U.S. Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), re-introduced the DREAM Act, bi-partisan legislation which would provide a pathway to permanent residence and eventual citizenship for immigrant youth. The 2017 version of the bill is the strongest version introduced to date, and could provide legal permanent residence to 1.5 million DREAMers.
In addition, the DREAM Act would provide immediate protection to current DACA recipients and make them automatically eligible for conditional permanent residence (green cards). The Act also provides for the privacy of information provided by DACA recipients or applicants for the DREAM Act, so that it will not be shared with immigration enforcement agencies.