Vote on Anti-Immigrant Bill Fast-Tracked

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2015

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

Senate Fast-Tracks Vote on Extreme, Anti-Immigrant Bill Opposed by Law Enforcement, Mayors, Anti–Domestic Violence Advocates

WASHINGTON — After skipping committee debate on a controversial bill, the full Senate is scheduled to vote today on legislation that gambles away community safety and sound policy for the sake of replaying the anti-immigrant political card. The bill, S. 2146, authored by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), targets local law enforcement agencies that have instituted successful “community trust” programs that improve relationships with immigrants. It would punish them by stripping away federal grants used by cities and states to house seniors and provide services to low-income communities, as well as Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funding that funds law enforcement personnel and other costs.

With more than 350 cities and local jurisdictions potentially being impacted by the legislation, a broad coalition has come together to oppose this extreme measure. The following is a statement by National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié:

“Cities across the country should do whatever they can to restore or maintain trust between residents and local law enforcement, and congressional conservatives shouldn’t get in their way. This legislation would devastate community safety by making immigrants even more fearful of reporting crimes or serving as witnesses to help police solve crimes.

“Under the proposal by Sen. Vitter, communities would be forced to choose between building trust with immigrants or maintaining grants for programs that help low- and moderate-income families and seniors.

“The faith community, advocates of survivors of domestic violence, law enforcement leaders, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, and theCommunity Development Block Grant Coalition all oppose this extreme measure for good reason.

“Before they vote, senators should remember it is wrong to play with the lives of real people, that they should not be used as chips in the political game of anti-immigrant politics.

“We urge the Senate to reject S. 2146.”

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