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Legalization For All network on Senate immigration reform bill

By staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following June 28 statement from Legalization For All (L4A) on immigration reform.

On Thursday, June 27th, the U.S. Senate passed an immigration reform bill by a 68 to 32 margin. The Legalization For All (L4A) network strongly condemns the inclusion of the Corker-Hoever amendment in the Senate immigration reform bill. The Corker-Hoever amendment will increase militarization on the border, expand the E-verify workplace enforcement, and try to track the more than one hundred and fifty million people who enter the United States each year.

The Senate bill that passed calls for an additional $46 billion to further militarize the border, including 20,000 more border patrol officers, hundreds of miles of new fencing, and mandates use of military technology. This will mainly be felt by Mexicans and Central Americans trying to cross the border, leading to more deaths.

In response to this military “surge” on the border, more and more of our brothers and sisters living on or near the border, especially in Texas and Arizona are saying that this is no longer an immigration reform bill, but a border militarization bill. In solidarity with our sisters and brothers on and near the border, Legalization For All cannot support the Senate bill that passed.

Since the beginning of this year’s struggle for immigration reform, L4A has stood on principles based on what the people need. We have called for legalization for all now! – don’t exclude millions of undocumented and make them wait ten years for legal permanent residency. L4A has opposed the proposals for more and more militarization of the border and supported calls to stop the deportations.

While the original “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” (CIR) bill put forward by the Senate bipartisan “gang of eight” did grant temporary residency to most (but not nearly all) of the eleven million undocumented, it had a ten year wait for permanent residency. In addition the original CIR bill put more border militarization first, restructured legal immigration to emphasize work, education, and speaking English above family reunification, expanded temporary worker programs, and increased government monitoring of workers. And it said nothing about deportations, which continue at a record pace.

But then the Senate Democratic leadership followed a strategy of making the bill worse in order to attract some handfuls of Republican votes. The Senate bill has now gone from bad to worse with the Corker-Hoever amendment. In the House of Representatives there is no bipartisan CIR bill, and Republican House leader Boenher said that he would not bring forward the Senate bill unless the majority of Republicans in the House support it. Given that the Senate bill doesn’t even have the majority of Senate Republicans (who tend to be more moderate than Republicans in the House), it is quite possible that there will be no House immigration reform bill.

Legalization For All is putting out a call for a week of action and a national call-in day to congress when the House comes back from their holiday break on Monday, July 8th. We demand that Congress put forward a bill that has legalization for all, reduces, not increases, border militarization, and stops the deportations! If you wish to join us in this effort, please contact your local L4A network member.

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