Saturday, February 2, 2013

Action Alert: #687:
Action: Contact Senators to Urge Support for Immigration Reform
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/29/13) – CAIR today welcomed the announcement of a bipartisan plan in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform and is asking all Americans who believe that immigration reform is long overdue to urge their senators to pass legislation by late spring or early summer.
Announced yesterday by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the proposed framework adopts a number of "tough but fair" measures that seek to create a path towards citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented residents. The outline also seeks to strengthen prohibitions against racial profiling and inappropriate use of force.

The two-party plan seeks to achieve permanent reform of the nation's broken immigration system by addressing the creation of a path to citizenship for undocumented residents that is contingent on securing the borders and combating visa overstays; improving the legal immigration system and attracting the world's best and brightest; enhancing employment verification; and, admitting new workers and protecting workers' rights.

CAIR believes that, in the absence of comprehensive federal immigration reform, many states have adopted punitive anti-immigrant enforcement laws that rely on racial profiling. Current federal immigration laws and practices have also led to racial and religious profiling at the U.S. border, improper detention, and mistaken deportation of immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.

For the past several years, CAIR has received numerous complaints by American Muslims about Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and FBI agents repeatedly harassing them at the U.S.-Canada border. These complaints include being unnecessarily handcuffed, agents aiming weapons at them, enduring prolonged periods of detention, being subjected to invasive and humiliating body searches, and inappropriate questions about religion and religious practices.

In the coming months, CAIR will ask Congress to address ongoing civil rights violations, and racial and religious profiling along the U.S. Border and points of entry as it deliberates how to best secure our nation while reforming our immigration system.

"Now is the time to act because comprehensive immigration reform can't wait," said CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw. "CAIR supports this bipartisan attempt to find common ground and break through the tired rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate. As concerned citizens, we need to work together and urge our senators to join this bipartisan bloc and adopt lasting reform of our immigration system." 

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