Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Action Alert: Senate Considering Immigration bill

The Senate just began considering the Immigration Reform bill this week.  Debate is expected to continue over the next three weeks.  The Presbyterian Church (USA) has long supported comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship, protects family unity, and does not unnecessarily militarize our southern border.  The bill being considered on the Senate floor is not perfect, but it is an important step in the right direction toward embracing all of our brothers and sisters.

Send a message to your Senators today in support of comprehensive immigration reform.

Over the next three weeks, the Office of Public Witness and the Office of Immigration Issues will be active in monitoring this process.  Stay tuned to your inbox and our blog for regular updates and action items.

In addition to emailing your Senators:

Call the Senate TODAY: Wednesday, June 12
Protect the immigration bill from Grassley #1195, which would delay the path to citizenship.

Call the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or find Senators' direct lines at

Feel free to use this sample script:

"I am from [City, State, Congregation], and I support humane and compassionate immigration reform. As a person of faith, I urge the Senator to vote NO to Grassley Amendment #1195, which would significantly delay and undermine the path to citizenship."

More information on amendments being considered today:

OPPOSE GRASSLEY Amendment  1195: This amendment would significantly delay access to the initial registration process of the path to citizenship. It would prevent our undocumented community members from obtaining Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPI) status until the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) certifies to Congress that DHS has maintained “effective control” over the entire southern border for six months. This amendment may be voted as early as noon on Wednesday, June 12.

Grassley 1195 is unnecessary and flies in the face of workable policy and real solutions. The pathway to citizenship in S 744 is already tough, long and must be earned. But it must be attainable in order to be effective.  This amendment would further delay a process that already will take at least 13 years. The drafters of the bill worked long and hard to reach bipartisan agreement on the enforcement triggers in the bill, and this amendment undermines that hard-fought bipartisan agreement.

Follow @PCUSAWashington and "like" the Office of Public Witness on Facebook to receive the most up-to-date alerts on amendments being considered in the Senate floor debate. Find Your Senators' Twitter names on their websites ( and urge them to support positive amendments and oppose negative amendments by tweeting @[their twitter name]. Ex: "@Sen_JoeManchin As a WV person of faith I support #immigrationreform. Please oppose Grassley #1195 which would delay #pathtocitizenship #cir"

More amendments likely to come up soon:
·       Leahy amendment to provide equivalent treatment for the spouses and minor children of certain long-term contract agricultural workers and W-1 visa holders. (#1181)
·      Leahy amendment to recognize, for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any marriage entered into full compliance with the laws of the State or foreign country within which such marriage was performed. (#1182)
·      Leahy amendment to encourage and facilitate international participation in the performing arts. (#1183)
·      Schumer amendment to prohibit franchisors from being held civilly liable for violations of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act that are committed by a franchisee. (#1184)
·      Schumer amendment to permit aliens employed by foreign utility companies to provide relief to United States communities during an emergency or disaster. (#1185)
·      Schumer amendment to establish reasonable time limitations for submitting and processing merit-based visa applications. (#1186)
·      Schumer amendment to make a technical correction with respect to STEM immigrants. (#1187)
·      Schumer amendment to waive the 3-year and 10-year bars with respect to merit-based track two immigrants visas. (#1188)
·      Schumer amendment to place a hard cap on H-1B nonimmigrant visas of 180,000. (#1189)
·      Schumer amendment to exempt public universities hiring H-1B non-immigrants from prohibition against displacing US workers. (#1190)
·      Schumer amendment to clarify that a total of 10,500 visas are available each fiscal year for nonimmigrants described in section 101(a)(15)(E)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. (#1191)
·      Schumer amendment to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate international airports in the United States at which aliens arriving to and departing from the United States shall be subject to biometric inspections and to issue reasonable notice requirements for aircraft carrying aliens to or from the United States. (#1192)
·      Schumer amendment to exempt nonprofit education and research institutions from the definitions of H-1B dependent employer and H-1B skilled worker dependent employer. (#1193)
·      Schumer amendment to change the start date for merit-based program to align with the repeal of the diversity visa program. (#1194)
·      Grassley amendment to prohibit the granting of registered provisional immigrant status until the Secretary has maintained effective control of the borders for 6 months. (#1195)
·      Thune amendment to delay the grating of registered provisional immigrant status to any alien until the governors of the States along the Southern border approve the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and certify that the strategy has been substantially implemented. (#1196)
·      Thune amendment to require the completion of the 350 miles of reinforced, double-layered fencing described in section 102(b)(1)(A) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before RPI status may be granted and to require the completion of 700 miles of such fencing before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be adjusted to permanent resident status. (#1197)
·      Tester amendment to modify the Border Oversight Task Force to include tribal government officials. (#1198)
·      Boxer amendment to require training for National Guard and Coast Guard agents in training programs on border protection, immigration law enforcement, and how to address vulnerable populations, such as children and victims of crime. (#1199)
·      Paul amendment to provide for enhanced border security, including strong border security metrics and congressional votes on border security and for other purposes. (#1200)
·      Vitter amendment to prohibit the temporary grant of legal status to, or adjustment to citizenship status of, any individual who is unlawfully present in the US until the DHS Secretary certifies that the US-VISIT System (a biometric border check-in and check-out system first required by Congress in 1996) has been fully implemented at every land, sea, air port of entry. (#1201)
·      Paul amendment to secure the Treasury and protect taxpayers against registered provisional immigrants, refugees, asylees, and other aliens from being dependent on welfare. (#1202)
·      Inhofe amendment to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for extensions of detention of certain aliens ordered removed, and for other purposes. (#1203)
·      Inhofe amendment to declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress’ powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article 1, section 8, of the United States Constitution. (#1204)
·      Inhofe amendment to ensure that an employer has the freedom to implement English in the workplace policies. (#1205)
·      Inhofe amendment to amend title 31, United States Code, to end speculation on the current cost of multilingual services provided by the Federal Government, and for other purposes. (#1206)
·      Lee amendment to prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands which impede border security on such lands, and for other purposes. (#1207)
·      Lee amendment to require fast-track congressional approval when the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Congress of the implementation of the border security strategies and certifies that the strategies are substantially operational. (#1208)
·      Lee amendment to clarify that the registered provisional immigrant program shall be funded only by fees. (#1209)
·      Lee amendment to prohibits aliens who have absconded or have attempted to reenter the United States after receiving a deportation order from receiving registered provisional immigrant status. (#1210)
·      Lee amendment to remove offenses committed under foreign law from the grounds of ineligibility for RPI status. (#1211)
·      Lee amendment to enhance the requirements on payment of taxes to be satisfied by applicants for RPI. (#1212)
·      Lee amendment to prohibit the waiver or reduction of penalties payable for applications for adjustment to RPI. (#1213)
·      Lee amendment to prohibit the use of sworn affidavits or other unspecified documents to verify the employment or education of registered provisional immigrants applying for permanent residence. (#1214)
·      Lee amendment to require annual reports on the amounts of Federal means-tested public benefits provided in each State. (#1215)
·      Lee amendment to require intent in certain prohibitions on discrimination based on national origin or citizenship status. (#1216)
Lee amendment to increase the number of W nonimmigrant visas available during each fiscal year. (#1217)