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(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/25/13) -- CAIR is urging voters to contact their elected representatives and urge them to reject piecemeal measures in the House that would increase racial profiling and unconstitutional detention and request that they include anti-profiling protections in the immigration bill.
Action Alert (1): Oppose the SAFE Act (H.R. 2278)
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed the "SAFE Act," H.R. 2278, introduced by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Opponents of the SAFE Act consider it a piecemeal anti-immigrant reform bill which promotes an enforcement-only approach. Such an act is a "poison pill" meant to stop the immigration reform process.
The act provides Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers with greater detention and deportation authority, while permitting state and local enforcement to carry out immigration laws themselves. CAIR and its civil rights partners believe that this enhanced authority could be abused or lead to racial profiling and a sharp increase in the detention and deportation of U.S. residents attempting to seek citizenship.
CAIR is asking concerned citizens to call House Congressional leaders Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to: "Reject the 'SAFE Act,' H.R. 2278, not bring it to a floor vote, and only support comprehensive immigration reform."
CAIR has also provided a click-and-send letter addressed to your Congressional House Representatives requesting that they only support comprehensive immigration reform and ask House leadership to keep it from coming to a floor vote.
Acton Alert (2): Support a Ban on All Forms of Racial and Religious Profiling
The Senate is in the middle of its floor debate on comprehensive immigration reform. The bill provides a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated that the Senate hopes to "wrap this legislation up before the July 4 recess." The House of Representatives is also expected to release its own version of the immigration bill in the coming weeks.
CAIR has provided a click-and-send letter addressed to members of Congress for voters who want to demand an end to racial and religious profiling by law enforcement. CAIR's sign-on letter supports favorable amendments to the immigration bill that seek to ban law enforcement profiling.
As reported in CAIR's previous assessment of the Senate immigration bill, Section 3305 of the bill prohibits the blanket use of race and ethnicity by federal law enforcement, but fails to prohibit profiling based on religion or national origin and includes troubling exemptions in cases of national security and border protection.
The bill also includes a distressing amendment offered by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Graham Amendment 3, which would require immigration legalization applicants from certain regions or countries to undergo additional security screenings, i.e., background checks, out of national security concerns.
CAIR believes that Graham Amendment 3 is reminiscent of the now-defunct National Security Entry-Exit System (NSEERS) program, which had required certain nonimmigrant men from predominantly Muslim nations to register with the federal government.
CAIR's letter also requests clear guidelines for administrative and judicial review for those appealing their immigration status; prioritize family unity and not weaken or eliminate current family immigrant categories; offer solutions to ongoing cases of processing delays for thousands of immigrants; and, streamline the process for immigrants applying for asylum from conflict zones like Syria.