Justice for Immigrants ACTION ALERT
Contact your Senators
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On Thursday, June 7, the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture (close off debate) on S. 1348, the Senate compromise immigration reform bill, 45-50 (with 60 votes needed to achieve cloture). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked Senators to vote NO on cloture. The Committee on Migration of the USCCB decided to take this position because on the night previous, Senators adopted an amendment to weaken the legalization program by removing confidentiality provisions and defeated an amendment which improved family reunification in the bill.
The removal of the confidentiality protection in the Z-visa legalization program means that applicants for the program are at risk of deportation if their application is denied, for whatever reason. The confidentiality protection ensures that an applicant to the program cannot be deported because of information given in their application regarding their immigration status. The Committee on Migration views this protection as essential to a workable program, because otherwise eligible participants will not come forward.
Another amendment, offered by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), would have moved the backlog reduction date on family reunification up to January 1. 2007. This amendment was blocked by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on a budget point of order and Senator Kyl offered another amendment which, in the view of the USCCB, harms certain families.
For those Senators who opposed cloture, consistent with the USCCB position, it is important to note that USCCB still supports the bill moving forward, provided that the confidentiality provisions and family reunification areas are improved.
It is our view that the bill will come back to the Senate floor before July 4th and that we will have the opportunity to fix these two amendments.
Please contact your Senators today and even everyday now with the following message:
call your Senators local or national office.
call the general number and ask for your senators office 202-224-3121.
send a message through our website at: www.justiceforimmigrants.org/action.html
The Justice for Immigrants Campaign