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5/25: AgJOBS Update: Two more Senators sign on this week

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    AgJOBS Update: Two more Senators sign on this week 5/25/2004 From: bgoldstein@nclr.org Farmworker Justice Fund --- AgJOBS Update -- May 25, 2004 The AgJOBS
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2004
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      AgJOBS Update: Two more Senators sign on this week
      5/25/2004
      From: bgoldstein@...

      Farmworker Justice Fund --- AgJOBS Update -- May 25, 2004

      The AgJOBS bill now has 111 cosponsors in the House and 63 Senate
      cosponsors. A "legislative vehicle" is being sought for AgJOBS by Sen. Larry
      Craig and Sen. Kennedy and it is possible that there could be action on
      AgJOBS in the Senate during the next several weeks. AgJOBS could be
      proposed as an amendment to an upcoming piece of legislation.

      Below is a letter from major Jewish organizations that informed the Senate
      of their support for comprehensive immigration reform and for passing AgJOBS
      now.


      Bruce Goldstein
      Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc.
      1010 Vermont Ave., NW, Ste. 915
      Washington, D.C. 20005
      202-783-2628 fax: 783-2561
      www.fwjustice.org

      Text of Jewish Community Letter on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
      Sent to All Members of the United States Senate

      May 24, 2004

      Dear Senator:

      A central lesson of the Jewish tradition is that there is a religious
      obligation to welcome and prevent the oppression of the stranger that
      dwells among us. This biblical imperative is also reflected in the United
      States' historic identity as a land of immigrants and a
      safe-haven for persecuted refugees. As representatives of national and
      local Jewish organizations committed to these essential principles, we write
      today to encourage you to engage in bipartisan efforts for Comprehensive
      Immigration Reform.

      For both humanitarian and security reasons, we strongly believe that
      Comprehensive Immigration Reform is essential to the future of the United
      States. Such reform is an important priority for the country and our
      community in order to find a solution to the interrelated problems of the 8
      to 12 million undocumented migrants who are vulnerable to exploitation in
      the shadow society; the expansion of immigrant smuggling, vigilante violence
      and migrant deaths on the border; and the massive backlogs in family
      immigration visa categories that cause close family members to remain
      separated for years or even decades and thus create practical incentives for
      illegal entry into the United States. Any solution should involve careful
      screening of applicants to enhance national security and help focus law
      enforcement resources on the most grave criminal and terrorist threats.

      While Comprehensive Immigration Reform is crucial, it will likely require a
      significant amount of time to develop a final and effective
      bipartisan plan to fully resolve these difficult problems. In the interim,
      we sincerely hope that you will consider supporting efforts to
      address the specific needs of certain particularly vulnerable categories of
      undocumented migrants -- two such proposals are highlighted below.

      The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security (AgJOBS) Act
      (S.1645) addresses the immigration needs of farmworkers and the agricultural
      industry by providing farmworkers currently in the U.S. with a path to
      lawful permanent residence and reform for the H-2A temporary worker program
      to give agricultural employers a stable and legal workforce. Not only would
      this proposal assist both the
      hard-working agricultural workers and their employers, but it would also
      promote homeland security by bringing workers out of the shadows for
      security screenings.

      The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S.
      1545) allows undocumented immigrant students to pursue their educational
      goals by eliminating the federal provision that discourages states from
      providing these students with in-state tuition, and by permitting some of
      them who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for permanent legal status.
      These youth, who bear no responsibility for the decision to come to this
      country without legal status, often have no knowledge of the culture or
      language of their former homes. They are now part of our communities and
      face severely limited futures if they cannot receive the education needed to
      thrive in and contribute to our society.

      As you seek to ensure that our country's immigration policies meet the array
      of challenges facing us in the post-9/11 world, we hope that you will work
      towards making Comprehensive Immigration Reform a central component of this
      agenda. This effort, as well as support for more immediate interim measures
      such as the AgJOBS Act and the DREAM Act, can play a crucial role in
      protecting our national interests and fulfilling the values and that we as
      Americans, and as the Jewish community, hold dear.

      Thank you for considering our views on these important matters.

      Sincerely,


      Richard T. Foltin
      Legislative Director and Counsel
      The American Jewish Committee

      Jess N. Hordes
      Washington Director
      Anti-Defamation League

      Daniel S. Mariaschin
      Executive Vice President
      B'nai B'rith International

      Leonard Glickman
      President & CEO
      Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

      Judith Bernstein-Baker
      Executive Director
      HIAS and Council Migration Service
      of Philadelphia

      Reva Price
      Washington Director
      Jewish Council for Public Affairs

      Avram B. Lyon
      Executive Director
      Jewish Labor Committee

      Shoshana Riemer
      Washington Representative
      NA'AMAT USA

      Marsha Atkind
      President
      National Council of Jewish Women

      Ron Soloway
      Managing Director, Government and External Relations
      UJA - Federation of New York

      Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
      President
      Union for Reform Judaism

      Robert Kestenbaum
      Executive Director
      The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring

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      No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
      webpage: http://www.actionla.org/ISN/ (For latest immigrant issues/news)


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