Legislative News from World Relief's Policy and Advocacy Director:
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Yesterday, the House began consideration of H.R.2017, the FY 2012 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act under an open rule which means that any member of Congress can file an amendment to increase or decrease spending for DHS operations, like immigration detention, Secure Communities, 287(g), etc. As reported out by the Appropriations Committee, the DHS appropriations bill would increase the number of daily immigration detention beds by 600 (33,400 to 34,00), increase immigration detention spending by $25 million above President Obama’s budget request, and increase Secure Communities spending by $10 million above President Obama’s request. A number of amendments have been filed that would further increase funding for immigration enforcement, including for border fencing, detention and removal operations, and 287 (g) programs.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up four bills, including H.R.1932, the Keep our Communities Safe Act of 2011. This bill would give the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to detain immigrants indefinitely if they are subject to a final order of removal and cannot be deported for some reason, or if they are subject to a removal order that has been stayed by a judge while their immigration case is on appeal. The Judiciary Committee is also expected to mark up bills pertaining to E-verify in the near future.
World Relief urges Congress to oppose HR.1932 as it commits precious U.S. taxpayer dollars to detain vulnerable migrants seeking protection in the United States while providing them with inadequate recourses to challenge their detention. World Relief also expresses strong concern about passing E-verify without a parallel path for earned legalization for undocumented immigrants and funding of expanded enforcement measures without full consideration and passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
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Jenny Yang is Director of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief. Jenny has provide the information in these posts to people how have signed up for advocacy updates on World Relief’s Advocacy website. She is also co-author with Matthew Soerens of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate.