Two Pro-Migrant Bills In Congress: Protecting Vulnerable U.S. Citizens

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Will Coley of Aquifermedia has emailed me and asked me to highlight two of his latest videos in tandem with the fact that there are two pro-migrant bills in Congress for us to support. 
Aquifermedia's videos show very simply how to call your Congressperson and Senator in support of these bills, which might be useful for people that haven't done it before. 

The first bill is H.R. 1176, or the "Child Citizen Protection Act"Call your Congressperson in support of this bill.   Aquifermedia video on how to call your Congressperson:



The second bill is S. 3594, or the "Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Raids and Detention Act".  Call your Senator in support of this billAquifermedia video on how to call your Senator. 



There is more below on each of this bills and why you should support them.
H.R. 1176: Child Citizen Protection Act

The Child Citizen Protection Act, H.R. 1176, would give immigration judges discretion over whether or not to deport the parent of a U.S. citizen child.  There is probably no better illustration of how important this is than the report by the National Council of La Raza and the Urban Institute entitled "Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America's Children.

This report describes how, for every two parents that are picked up in an immigration raid, at least one child is left behind.  Of the children that are left behind, two-thirds of them are U.S. citizens.  So when almost 600 people were picked up in Laurel, Mississippi, almost 200 U.S. citizen children were robbed of their parents.  200 U.S. citizen were condemned to family seperation, economic hardship, and significant trauma.  The Child Citizen Protection Act could have helped those 200 U.S. citizen children.

S. 3594: Protect Citizens and Residents From Unlawful Raids and Detention Act

The "Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Raids and Detention Act", S. 3594, would "preserve basic due process rights for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and workers involved in labor disputes who are swept up in immigration raids", according to the National Immigration Forum.  I can't find S. 3594's text on thomas.gov, yet, so I'm relying on a press release from Doug Rivilin at the National Immigration Forum.

Most don't realize how common it is for U.S. citizens to have their rights infringed upon when ICE looks to catch and deport unauthorized migrants.  See this article in USA Today to see some U.S. citizens fighting having been held against their will.  This bill is also important because it would do much to reign in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's de facto unlimited power to infringe upon the civil liberties of anyone in the United States in pursuit of terrorizing migrant populations. 

Conclusion 

Needless to say, these bills do nothing to assert the humanity of the unauthorized migrant population in the U.S.  Indirectly, unauthorized migrants are being helped by these bills, but I often wonder if in pursuit of short term gains we are giving up something larger.  In the end, that's not my call to make. 

I have yet to meet an unauthorized migrant that would not sacrifice ideals for immediate relief.  The situation has gotten so bad in the United States that people like myself do not really have a right to deny temporary relief like this to migrnats in pursuit of some lofty goal.  We'll take what we can get.  These two bills are some of the most promising I've seen in a long time. 

Below I will paste the text of H.R. 1176 and a press release from the National Immigration Forum on S. 3594:

Text of H.R. 1176, The Child Citizen Protection Act:

To provide discretionary authority to an immigration judge to determine that an alien parent of a United States citizen child should not be ordered removed, deported, or excluded from the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY WITH RESPECT TO REMOVAL, DEPORTATION, OR EXCLUSION OF PARENTS OF CITIZEN CHILDREN.

Section 240(c)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229a(c)(4)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(D) DISCRETION OF JUDGE IN CASE OF CITIZEN CHILD- In the case of an alien subject to removal, deportation, or exclusion who is the parent of a child who is a citizen of the United States, the immigration judge may exercise discretion to decline to order the alien removed, deported or excluded from the United States if the judge determines that such removal, deportation, or exclusion is clearly against the best interests of the child, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to any alien who the judge determines--

(i) is described in section 212(a)(3) or 237(a)(4); or

(ii) has engaged in conduct described in paragraph (8) or (9) of section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102).

Press Release from the National Immigration Forum on S. 3594, The Protect Citizens and Residents From Unlawful Raids and Detentions Act:

Washington, DC - Last night, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. 3594, the Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Raids and Detention Act, a bill that would preserve basic due process rights for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and workers involved in labor disputes who are swept up in immigration raids.  The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan, pro-immigrant advocacy group in Washington.

We congratulate Senators Menendez and Kennedy on the introduction of the Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Raids and Detention Act, as it is an important and necessary response to the abuses inflicted on U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (green card holders), and other workers in the name of immigration worksite enforcement.  Throughout the course of the year, we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of mass immigration raids in which hundreds of workers have been arrested.  As the numbers have increased, so has the level of impunity, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents engage in cowboy antics that deny workers basic respect and dignity.  These harsh tactics include everything from providing no notice of why individuals are under arrest to the deprivation of basic necessities like medicine, to rapid transfer to facilities far from families and homes.  We have seen a further erosion of fundamental American due process of law, interference by ICE with ongoing labor investigations and disputes, and the detention of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, which is a black mark on our country and our government.

It is clear that ICE is unwilling or unable to police itself, making legislation necessary.  This bill also highlights yet again the failures of our broken immigration system.  The raids are a misguided attempt to put "tough" enforcement ahead of sensible reform.  Raids neither make our country safer nor resolve our immigration crisis.  They simply undermine due process and labor protections, resulting in a weaker, rather than a stronger nation.

This bill is a step towards ensuring that the rule of law applies to government officials as well as individuals, that the rights of workers and detainees are respected, and that Congress provides much needed oversight where immigration enforcement is concerned.





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