House Judiciary Committee Passes HR 1148

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2015

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

House of Representatives Mass Deportation Bill Shows Little Learned from Past Anti-Immigrant Behavior

WASHINGTON — In a party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives today passed a bill out of committee that would criminalize immigrants who are not authorized to be in the U.S. and would turn local law enforcement into de facto immigration officers. The bill, HR 1148, is nearly identical to the 2013 SAFE Act, an anti-immigrant proposal that drew the ire of immigrants’ rights groups and local law enforcement. Below is a statement from Kamal Essaheb, immigration policy attorney for the National Immigration Law Center:

“Today’s proceedings show that in their zeal to attack immigrant communities, anti-immigrant legislators in the House Judiciary Committee are willing to threaten everyone else’s safety. That’s why law enforcement leaders across the country have urged lawmakers to reject this proposal. Unfortunately, these requests — from those whose job it is to protect and serve everyone in their communities — seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

“Attacks on immigrant communities are nothing new: Arizona, Alabama, and others attempted to create state-based racial profiling laws, and all these laws trampled on the rights of people of color, regardless of where they were born. It’s time to abandon misguided efforts to export failed Arizona-style policies to other states and instead focus on proposals that improve public safety for everyone by restoring relationships between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.”

The committee also passed, in a party-line vote, HR 5137, a bill that would eliminate key protections for unaccompanied noncitizen children. Specifically, the bill would make it harder for such children to access legal help and would raise the standard for showing that they have a credible fear of being persecuted if they are returned to their home countries.

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