Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Immigration amendments related to refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable populations

Action Alert: CALLS needed WED, May 15, THURS, May 16 & FRI, May 17

On Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider amendments relating to refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable populations in the bipartisan immigration bill, S. 744. In addition, they will continue to consider amendments on worker visas and interior enforcement. Committee members need to hear from people of faith across the country - not just those who live in their states - about the impact these amendments will have on our communities. Please call all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Please call 1-866-940-2439 to speak with the office of a specific Judiciary Committee member.*

"As a person of faith, I urge the Senator to OPPOSE Graham Amendment #1 and ALL Grassley amendments, which would prevent refugees and asylum seekers from seeking safety and protection, and would needlessly expand immigration detention.

Also, I urge the Senator to SUPPORT all amendments by Senators Franken, Coons, and Blumenthal, which would improve the lives of vulnerable populations, including survivors of domestic abuse."

Below is a sample script. If you get an answering machine, please leave a message. More information on the amendments is below. Please refer to each amendment by sponsor NAME and NUMBER. All day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, staff will be reporting to Senators on the number of calls for and against each amendment.


This amendment would terminate protection for refugees, asylees and stateless persons living in the U.S. if they return to their country of origin. People who return to their country of origin are often risking their lives to see a dying loved one, aid with the care and protection of their children, or advance human rights.

These amendments (specifically #25, #26, #27, and #52) would strike all of the positive refugee and asylum provisions from the base bill, including provisions that would improve access to life-saving protection for religious minorities in Iran and stateless people currently without legal protection. Grassley #52 in particular would delay positive changes to the asylum and student visa provisions in the bill by falsely conflating them with the Boston Marathon bombings. Grassley #40, #41, #47, #51 and #53 weaken due process and broaden the use of immigration detention. Also, Grassley #73 and #74 would negatively impact temporary workers.

ALL SESSIONS AMENDMENTS, Lee #16, #17, #19 and Hatch #19, #20
These amendments would prevent vulnerable populations, including those who have sought asylum but been denied, from relief and protection if they have ever attempted to use a false passport. Also, these amendments would enable employers to violate the rights of temporary workers by not requiring standard labor laws. Sessions #3, #10, #12, #17, #33, #34, and #39 would penalize immigrants who use public assistance programs; increase minimum bond amounts; encourage racial profiling and local anti-immigrant ordinances; and indefinitely stall the temporary worker program.

These amendments, specifically Franken #7 and #9; Coons #6, #8, #12, and #13; and Blumenthal #2, #7, #8, #13, #14, #17, and #18, would help survivors of genocide and domestic violence; protect children and vulnerable individuals and improve oversight in detention and deportation proceedings; allow asylum seekers to work while they await their hearings; codify ICE policy restricting immigration enforcement actions at schools, hospitals, and places of worship; help temporary workers; and expand access to the pathway to citizenship.

*Please note that you likely will not be connected with your own Senator's office through this number, unless they are a specific Judiciary Committee member. This is the best way to raise our voices at this moment. Judiciary members know they are responsible to ALL of us as they consider amendments. Feel free to call       1-866-940-2439 multiple times to connect with all priority members. To call directly, see the Committee list at For more information go to

Follow the markup live at a link provided at On Twitter, use #CIRmarkup,  #SJC (senate judiciary committee),  #timeisnow,  #p2c (path to citizenship).You can also tweet at Judiciary Committee members: @SenatorLeahy,  @SenFeinstein, @ChuckSchumer, @SenatorDurbin, @SenWhitehouse, @amyklobuchar, @alfranken, @ChrisCoons, @SenBlumenthal, @maziehirono, @ChuckGrassley, @OrrinHatch, @SenatorSessions, @LindseyGrahamSC, @JohnCornyn, @SenMikeLee, @tedcruz, @JeffFlake