While we are all occupied with concerns over disastrous healthcare legislation that could affect us all, equally disastrous legislation that would affect some of our most vulnerable members of society is being quickly pushed through Congress with much less fanfare. This week two strongly anti-immigrant bills will be voted on by the House. Please take a couple minutes to join the members of Indivisible NJ4 and 5 Calls (which provided the text below) to voice your opinion to our representative. And here are a couple brief articles about the bills, although they don't name all of the details:
Following in the Senate's footsteps, the House is now bypassing legislative procedure norms to push partisan bills through Congress faster. Two House bills, H.R. 3003 the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and H.R. 3004 Kate's Law, are scheduled for a vote on the House floor during the week of June 26th, even though neither bill has undergone typical committee hearings, debate, or amendment process. Furthermore, both bills were only introduced by Rep. Goodlatte (R-NC) on June 22nd, giving the rest of the House of Representatives less than a week to even read and analyze the bill text adequately enough to make an informed voting decision on behalf of their constituents.
The bills themselves are also controversial, effectively serving as attacks on sanctuary cities. Kate's Law increases the minimum penalties for any immigrant who attempts to re-enter the US after being deported. Written in reaction to the death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, the bill feeds off of the fear of illegal immigrants even though studies show immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes than those born in the US. The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act takes aim at sanctuary cities themselves, overriding their local detention policies and barring them from receiving Homeland Security and Justice Dept. grants if they don't comply. Together, these bills would increase our already sky-high prison population as well as the fear level within our immigrant communities.
It does not bode well for the future of our democratic lawmaking system that the House is now bypassing procedural norms, especially on bills (like Trumpcare) that would greatly affect the lives of many. The House should stop eroding our increasingly fragile institutions and maintain regular legislative order.
1) If you live in district 4, call Congressman Smith's office in D.C. at 202-225-3765 around 10:00AM
2) If you live in district 6, call Congressman Pallone's office in D.C. at 202-571-1140 around 10:00 AM.
Caller: Hello, I am a constituent of Rep. _______; may I speak with the staffer who handles immigration?”
Caller: I'm calling to express my opposition to H.R. 3003 and H.R. 3004. These bills will jeopardize local law enforcement's ability to protect our cities and instill even more fear among our immigrant communities. I also strongly object to the procedures being used for these bills. They are scheduled for a vote on the House floor during the week of June 26th, even though neither bill has undergone typical committee hearings, debate, or amendment process. Plus, they were only introduced on June 22, so no member of Congress will have adequate time to review them. I urge Rep. Smith to vote against these unnecessary attacks on sanctuary cities, and to refuse to go along with this attempt to further undercut our democratic institutions. Thank you.