Advocacy Issues

Advocacy Issues

 

Dream Act

CWS Reuniting Families
ACT Alert

RFA, Dream - Detention Bills

 Urge Your Senators & Reps. to cosponsor DREAM Act.


 

 

 

 

Urge Your Senators and Representatives to
cosponsor the DREAM Act.

 On March 26, 2009, the DREAM Act was reintroduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) as S.729 and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) as H.R.1751. If passed, the DREAM Act would create a pathway to lawful permanent residence and eventual earned citizenship for thousands of upstanding high school graduates who were brought to the United States as children years ago. These young people have grown up in our communities and include honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists, and aspiring teachers, doctors, and entrepreneurs.

Action Needed

Call the Capitol switchboard operator at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Senators and Representatives. You will be transferred to the receptionist of each office. Tell them that as a constituent you urge them to Co-Sponsor the DREAM Act so that high school graduates brought to the United States as children can realize their potential through higher education and service to the United States, thus benefiting all Americans.

Background

Each year, approximately 65,000 capable high school graduates are prevented from attending college due to their undocumented immigration status. Many of these children have lived in the United States since childhood, mastering English and dreaming of contributing to the future of America. In many cases they do not remember their parent’s home country and consider the United States their home. Through no fault of their own, they are undocumented and cannot attend most colleges or find any legal employment.  Denying them opportunities to learn and work will only stifle their potential to benefit the U.S. economy by pursuing higher education and serving the United States. There is currently no way for undocumented children to pursue legal status in the United States. The DREAM Act would allow undocumented children who entered the United States when 16 years or younger and who have lived in the United States for five years to apply for conditional permanent residency if they maintain good moral character and earn a high school diploma. After 6 years of conditional permanent residency, they could apply for lawful permanent residency (LPR). As stipulated in current law, persons who maintain LPR status for five years can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Faith Reflection

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:34

For more information, contact Jen Smyers, Associate for Immigration and Refugee Policy at jsmyers@churchworldservice.org or via phone at (202) 481-6935.

  

 


 

 

Urge Your Senators to cosponsor the Reuniting Families Act

 

On May 20, 2009, the Reuniting Families Act was reintroduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Charles Schumer (D-NY). If enacted, the Reuniting Families Act would reunite family members who have been separated for years due to a backlogged, broken immigration system.

 

Action Needed

Call the Capitol switchboard operator at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Senators. You will be transferred to the receptionist of each office.

 

Tell them that as a constituent you urge them to Co-Sponsor the Reuniting Families Act so that families who are separated due to our inefficient immigration system will be reunited in an efficient manner.

 

Background

 

U.S. Immigration Law provides that any immigrant residing in the country who has attained permanent resident status, or has naturalized as a U.S citizen, can apply for visas for his/her immediate family members (a spouse, children, siblings, and parents), not including aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc., to join him/her in the United States. However, as the system operates now, there is a backlog of cases and requests that have considerably slowed down the process, and as a result many families have been separated for as long as 24 years. If the system is left to operate the way it has in the past, the situation will only worsen as the backlog increases and families are kept separated.

 

The Reuniting Families Act Would:

 

The Reuniting Families Act would reduce lengthy backlogs by rightfully classifying lawful permanent resident spouses and children as "immediate family relatives" and providing relief for stepchildren and children of fiancés. It would also distribute visas more equitably between countries, increasing the per country limit from 7% to 10%, thus reducing the backlog without increasing visa numbers. If enacted, the bill would recapture unused and unclaimed visas, and allow families to reunite despite the death of the main petitioner or arbitrary bars to entry. It would also recognize the sacrifices of our military by exempting children of World War II Filipino veterans from numerical caps. This bill would help foster stronger communities which will enable immigrants to contribute more fully to the economic and social development of the country, as families increase the success of integration and quality of life.

 

 

Faith Reflection

 

"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:6

 

For more information, contact Jen Smyers, Associate for Immigration and Refugee Policy at jsmyers@churchworldservice.org or via phone at (202) 481-6935

  


 

REUNITING FAMILIES ACT

  

May 20, 2009, the Reuniting Families Act was reintroduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Charles Schumer (D-NY). If enacted, the Reuniting Families Act would reunite family members who have been separated for years due to a backlogged, broken immigration system. The Reuniting Families Act would reduce lengthy backlogs by rightfully classifying lawful permanent resident spouses and children as "immediate family relatives" and providing relief for stepchildren and children of fiancés. It would also distribute visas more equitably between countries, increasing the per country limit from 7% to 10%, thus reducing the backlog without increasing visa numbers. If enacted, the bill would recapture unused and unclaimed visas, and allow families to reunite despite the death of the main petitioner or arbitrary bars to entry. It would also recognize the sacrifices of our military by exempting children of World War II Filipino veterans from numerical caps. This bill would help foster stronger communities which will enable immigrants to contribute more fully to the economic and social development of the country, as families increase the success of integration and quality of life.

 

 

DREAM ACT

  

On March 26, 2009, the DREAM Act was reintroduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) as S.729 and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) as H.R.1751. If passed, the DREAM Act would create a pathway to lawful permanent residence and eventual earned citizenship for thousands of upstanding high school graduates who were brought to the United States as children years ago. These young people have grown up in our communities and include honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists, and aspiring teachers, doctors, and entrepreneurs.

  

 Each year, approximately 65,000 capable high school graduates are prevented from attending college due to their undocumented immigration status. Many of these children have lived in the United States since childhood, mastering English and dreaming of contributing to the future of America. In many cases they do not remember their parent’s home country and consider the United States their home. Through no fault of their own, they are undocumented and cannot attend most colleges or find any legal employment. There is currently no way for undocumented children to pursue legal status in the United States. The DREAM Act would allow undocumented children who entered the United States when 16 years or younger and who have lived in the United States for five years to apply for conditional permanent residency if they maintain good moral character and earn a high school diploma. After 6 years of conditional permanent residency, they could apply for lawful permanent residency (LPR). As stipulated in current law, persons who maintain LPR status for five years can apply for U.S. citizenship.

 

 

DETENTION

 

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard introduced the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act of 2009, which would protect unaccompanied children from being detained, increase training for detention facility staff and oversight of treatment standards, ensure equitable visitation policies, and set guidelines for the transfer of detainees, which is often harmful to immigrants’ abilities to access healthcare, legal counsel, and visits from their family members.

 

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