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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Catholic Charities USA Strongly Opposes Enforcement-Only Bil

    http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=58203

    Catholic Charities USA Strongly Opposes Enforcement-Only Immigration Bill in House

    12/15/2005 9:35:00 AM


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To: National Desk, Congressional Correspondent

    Contact: Shelley Borysiewicz of Catholic Charities USA, 703-549-1390, ext. 147 or sborysiewicz@catholiccharitiesusa.org

    ALEXANRIA, Va., Dec. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Calling the legislation "extremely punitive to immigrants and their families," Catholic Charities USA urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose the Border Enforcement and Immigration Enforcement Act of 2005.

    The legislation, introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R- Wis.) and approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week, is a sweeping enforcement-only measure that targets legal and illegal immigrants alike and further eviscerates due process protections for immigrants in this nation.

    "H.R. 4437 would not only impose severe and unjust consequences for immigrants, it is overly broad and extremely punitive to immigrants and their families with or without legal status in our country," wrote Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA in a letter to the House.

    Catholic Charities USA is very concerned with some of the draconian provisions contained in the bill, which would:

    -- make it a crime to reside in the U.S. illegally. Currently, illegal immigration is only a violation of civil statutes, not a crime;

    -- deny due process rights to immigrants and permanent residents;

    -- establish mandatory minimum sentences for immigrants who have reentered the U.S. illegally after being deported;

    -- create mandatory minimum sentences regarding immigrant "smuggling" as well as broaden the definition of immigrant "smuggling" provisions to include anyone who assists non-citizens who lack lawful status to reside or remain in the United States, putting family members, employers and immigrant advocates at risk;

    -- expand the definition of aggravated felon; and

    -- increase mandatory detention.

    In his letter, Fr. Snyder urged Congress to instead support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that would address the nation's security and immigration system and include an earned legalization program, a temporary worker program, and family-based immigration reform.

    To recognize the thousands of immigrants who have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, Catholic Charities USA this week launched a special Web page where visitors can light a virtual candle in memory of these immigrants and demonstrate their own solidarity with the plight of many of our nation's newcomers. The page can be found at http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.

    The letter is online at http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/news/letters/ .

    http://www.usnewswire.com/
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org

    December 14, 2005

    CCUSA Opposes Immigration Enforcement-Only Bill in the House



    Dear Representative:
    On behalf of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), one of the nation’s largest, private networks of social service organizations, with nearly 1,400 local agencies and institutions providing essential services to more than 7 million people annually regardless of their religious, racial, ethnic, or economic background, I strongly urge you to oppose the passage of H.R.4437, the “Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 when it comes before the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.

    We are deeply disappointed with the House Judiciary Committee’s enforcement-only proposal and its failure to provide the comprehensive approach needed to solve our current immigration crisis. While we are not experts on homeland security or border enforcement, many knowledgeable analysts who have studied the question carefully are convinced that effective border control would be greatly enhanced by increasing legal avenues for legal immigration, particularly from Latin America. In fact, some scholars argue that immigration enforcement strategies can not succeed in the absence of increases in opportunities for both new legal immigration and adjustment to legal status.

    H.R. 4437 would not only impose severe and unjust consequences for immigrants, it is overly broad and extremely punitive to immigrants and their families with or without legal status in our country. We are especially concerned with the bill provisions that would jeopardize humanitarian organizations, including church groups and U.S. citizens by criminalizing “smuggling-related offenses� and broadly defining smuggling to include assisting an immigrant without legal status. Catholic Charities agencies have been providing services to people of all religions or no religion, any race or background for over 100 years, and currently serve over one-half million immigrants each year. Catholic Social Teaching instructs us to recognize the natural rights of every human being, including the right to migrate.

    While we are opposed to the bill in its entirety, we are also deeply concerned with the following provisions that would:

    Deny due process protection to legal immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers: The expansion of expedited removal along the border, in our view, is likely to make it harder for legitimate refugees to receive protection in this country and would put them at risk of being deported back into the hands of their persecutors. Imposing expedited removal on all immigrants apprehended will erode process protection for thousands of people each year. In addition, asylum-seekers, victims of trafficking, battered women and children would no longer have access to judicial review or regular immigration proceedings. This would allow their fate to be determined by an immigration enforcement officer with little or training in immigration law. We find this policy to be unjust and contrary to American values of due process and fairness.

    Separate Families: The requirement under that all immigrants apprehended along an international or maritime border be detained will lead to the separation of U.S.-citizen children from their parents. Given the shortage of detention facilities, it is very likely that vulnerable children and women would be housed in prisons or prison-like facilities and commingled with violent offenders. Not only would the bill allow asylum-seekers who are fleeing persecution and have committed no crime to be detained under this provision, it would make it a criminal offense to be “unlawfully present� in the U.S. as well as bar persons from future legal entry or legal status. In addition, it would harm mixed-status families by preventing undocumented parents from adjusting to legal status and remaining permanently with their U.S. citizen children. This is extremely punitive given that most immigrants are not criminals but have merely entered our country to work and provide for their families.

    Give local law enforcement the authority to arrest undocumented immigrants: By making it a crime to be “unlawfully present� in the U.S., the legislation would allow local law enforcement personnel, which are charged to help enforce criminal law, the authority to arrest immigrants. This is likely to push the immigrant population further into the shadows when they are victimized by violent crimes such as rape, murder and robbery. In addition, victims of human trafficking, predominantly women and children, would fear the very law enforcement agents that could rescue them from slavery.

    Impose harsh penalties on immigrants who have not committed an offense: The legislation makes deportable and inadmissible an immigrant who is a member of a criminal street gang, as determined by the Attorney General. This would deny benefits as temporary protected status and asylum relief based on a non-reviewable administrative determination that a person participated in a designated gang. This provision is especially harmful to minors and others who are coerced in to gangs, but have not engaged in criminal activity.

    Catholic Charities USA respectfully requests that you reject the H.R. 4437. In addition, we ask that you support a comprehensive approach to address the crisis in our nation’s security and immigration system that includes an earned legalization program, a temporary worker program, and family-based immigration reform. Catholic Charities USA stands ready to support you in this endeavor and to continue working with you to advance the best interests of all persons in our nation.

    Sincerely,


    Fr. Larry Snyder
    President
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  3. #3
    gearhead's Avatar
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    Bishops Urge Strong Opposition to House Immigration Enforcement Bill

    WASHINGTON (December 14, 2005)â€

  4. #4
    TimBinh's Avatar
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    Of course they are against it, it will reduce the $1 billion in government funds they receive every year to help "immigrants".

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