Fwd: FW: 9-11 Commission Calls on House Leadership to Remove Immigration Restrictions
- Hilda Reyes Jensen <hillquen@...> wrote:From: "Hilda Reyes Jensen"
To: DavidCid@..., Atlatlal@...
Subject: FW: 9-11 Commission Calls on House Leadership to Remove Immigration Restrictions
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 19:06:05 -0500
>From: "Tramonte, Lynn"_________________________________________________________________
>To: "Tramonte, Lynn"
>Subject: 9-11 Commission Calls on House Leadership to Remove Immigration
>Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 19:09:44 -0400
>This email contains two items:
>1) a late-breaking news report in which the 9-11 Commission denounces House
>Republican leadership's move to load up their "9-11 recommendations" bill
>(H.R. 10) with anti-immigrant proposals; and
>2) an action alert regarding a potential CLEAR Act/HSEA amendment in the
>We hope that the encouraging words from the 9-11 Commissioners will inspire
>you to call on both House and Senate members of Congress to stick closely
>to the 9-11 Commission's recommendations, and to remove or vote down any
>anti-immigrant measures that take us down the wrong path. Please note that
>this legislation is on a very fast track; calls, faxes, and emails are
>needed this week to both the House and the Senate.
>In addition to the potential Senate amendment on CLEAR/HSEA, we've heard of
>plans for other sweeping anti-immigrant amendments, but at this time cannot
>confirm which will be offered. Senate staff are wading through hundreds of
>amendments filed by 4pm today to evaluate what is being proposed. We will
>get back to you when we have more information.
>Questions? Contact the National Immigration Forum at
>ltramonte@..., ssivaprasad@..., or
>vcardenas@... or 202.347.0040. Have a good night.
>September 30, 2004 Contacts: Press:
>Douglas Rivlin (rivlin@...
>Vol. 5, No. 15
>Policy: Angela Kelley (akelley@...
> or Lynn Tramonte (ltramonte@...)
>9-11 Commission Calls on House Leadership to Remove Immigration
>Unhappy with the direction the so-called "9-11 Recommendations
>Implementation Act" (H.R. 10) is taking in the House of Representatives,
>leaders of the bi-partisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon
>the United States ("the 9-11 Commission") spoke at a press conference today
>against the inclusion of anti-immigrant measures, not related to the
>commission's report, in this legislation.
>According to the Associated Press, Commission leader Thomas Kean said:
>"We're very respectfully suggesting that provisions which are controversial
>and are not part of our recommendations to make the American people safer
>perhaps ought to be part of another bill at another time."
>Commission Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton specifically pointed out "alien
>removal provisions" as an area of concern to the Commission.
>An earlier draft of this bill, H.R. 10, included most provisions of the
>CLEAR Act/Homeland Security Enhancement Act (H.R. 2671/S. 1906), another
>controversial measure. These bills are opposed by police officers and
>local governments around the country, because they ask them to enforce
>federal civil and administrative immigration law in direct competition with
>their ability to fight crime and encourage immigrant witnesses to come
>forward. Such a policy would also be a severe financial burden on local
>police departments already strapped for cash, while exposing them to costly
>litigation should they make mistakes in enforcing America's complicated
>While these provisions were removed from the House bill before its
>introduction, rumors of a similar amendment in the Senate could signal an
>unfortunate drift of the Senate in an anti-immigrant direction, and away
>from the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.
>Read on for the latest from the AP.
>* 50 F Street, NW * Suite 300 * Washington, DC 20001 * 202.347.0040 *
>202.347.0058 fax *
>ASSOCIATED PRESS: 9/11 Panel Urges House GOP To Drop Certain Parts Of Bill
>Jesse J. Holland
>September 30, 2004 5:00 p.m. EDT
>WASHINGTON (AP)--The Sept. 11 commission on Thursday urged House
>Republicans to remove immigration restrictions and new law enforcement
>powers from a bill that carries the commission's recommendations for
>reorganizing U.S. intelligence agencies.
>"We're very respectfully suggesting that provisions which are controversial
>and are not part of our recommendations to make the American people safer
>perhaps ought to be part of another bill at another time," commission
>leader Thomas Kean told a news conference in the Capitol.
>The House has begun moving its version of the bill through five committees,
>and Republican leaders expect to have the full chamber vote on it next
>In the Senate, the parallel bill deals only with creating the job of
>national intelligence director and creating a national counterterrorism
>center, both recommended by the commission that investigated Sept. 11. But
>the House bill goes farther by including increased anti-terrorism proposals
>and expanded penalties for illegal immigration and money-laundering.
>John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said
>House Republicans think "all of these provisions are directly linked to the
>"We think they will all make the country safer and we're moving forward
>through the process," Feehery said. "We've gone through the committees,
>we're going to get to the floor and then we'll get to conference and that
>will decide what ultimately can be accepted and can't be accepted by
>members of both bodies."
>If the Senate and House pass different bills, a compromise version must be
>worked out in a joint House-Senate committee and then agreed to by both
>chambers before it can go to the White House for the president's signature.
>The Sept. 11 commission contended that the nation's 15 military and
>civilian intelligence agencies' failure to cooperate precluded an effective
>defense that might have prevented the 2001 terror attacks on New York and
>Washington. The panel recommended creation of a national intelligence
>director to control and coordinate all the agencies.
>In addition, the commission called for more safeguards at home, such as
>setting national standards for issuance of drivers' licenses and other
>identification, improving "no-fly" and other terrorist watch lists and
>using more biometric identifiers to screen travelers at ports and borders.
>While Kean said some of the House immigration and border security
>provisions "are very, very good and do come right out of our report and we
>support those very, very strongly," but others are "much more controversial
>and those are the ones we're concerned about."
>Commission vice-chairman Lee Hamilton specifically pointed out "alien
>removal provisions" as one of those issues.
>One of the things the House bill would do is deny immigrants certain court
>appeals, including banning court reviews of claims that an illegal
>immigrant would be tortured upon return to his or her home country.
>American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Timothy Edgar called that part of
>"the enactment of a hard-line anti-immigrant policy."
>"We respectfully submit that consideration of controverisal provisions at
>this late hour can harm our shared purpose of getting a good bill to the
>president before the 108th Congress adjourns," Hamilton said.
>Congress' legislative process will highlight the problematic portions,
>Feehery said. "We'll find out what is controversial and what is not
>controversial," he said.
>Hamilton and Kean - who were joined by several other members of the
>commission - again endorsed the bill being debated in the Senate, called
>upon both chambers to push ahead with changing their oversight structures
>and said the new national intelligence director should have full budget and
>hiring and firing power.
>The House, Senate and White House disagree on how much power the
>intelligence director should have.
>"If you're not going to create, for instance, a strong national
>intelligence director with powers both appointive and over the budget,
>don't do it," Kean said. "It's not going to be any better than what you
>The Senate bill is S. 2845. The House bill is H.R. 10.
>URGENT: Senate to Consider CLEAR/HSEA-like Amendment to Senate 9-11 Bill
>TONIGHT OR TOMORROW MORNING
>Late last night we learned that Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Zell Miller
>(D-GA),and John Cornyn (R-TX) plan to introduce a CLEAR/HSEA-like amendment
>to the Senate 9-11 bill (Collins/Lieberman, S. 2845) that is currently on
>the Senate floor. This amendment may be voted on as early as this
>afternoon. The amendment is essentially a watered-down version of
>CLEAR/HSEA, giving it more of a chance at passage despite the fact that the
>concerns of law enforcement, state and local governments, crime victim
>advocates, civil rights and liberties groups, and others are not alleviated
>by the language drafted.
>PLEASE CALL, EMAIL, AND FAX YOUR SENATORS IN THEIR WASHINGTON, DC OFFICES
>IMMEDIATELY AND ASK THEM TO VOTE NO TO THE SESSIONS-MILLER-CORNYN AMENDMENT
>ON LOCAL ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS. Thank you in advance for
>your attention to this alert; we know that we've sounding the alarms a lot
>lately, but the Hill is a dangerous place right now!
>You can access your senators' contact information at
> or by calling the Capitol Hill switchboard at
>202.224.3121. To send an instant email, visit the web site of the American
>Immigration Lawyers Association (http://capwiz.com/aila2/home/) and search
>for your senators by entering your zip code. You can click on "compose
>your own message" and use the talking points below to craft a quick email.
>Time is of the essence!
>Please also contact Senators Collins (R-ME) and Lieberman (D-CT) and ask
>them to keep this amendment off of their 9-11 Commission bill. Their
>contact information appears below:
>Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): tel. 202.224.2523, fax 202.224.2693 AND
>Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT): tel. 202.224.4041, fax 202.224.9750
>More on the Amendment
>Senators Sessions, Miller, and Cornyn cite the 9-11 Commission's statements
>on immigration and law enforcement to justify the text of their amendment.
>However, the amendment does nothing to prevent the "very few people who may
>pose overwhelming risks from entering or remaining in the United States
>undetected" nor does it "send a message of welcome, tolerance, and justice
>to members of immigrant communities in the United States." Instead it
>mandates for open-ended enforcement of immigration laws by state and local
>police, untrained in immigration law.
> Inaccurately suggests that state and local law enforcement have the
>"inherent authority" to serve as immigration agents.
> In an attempt to address/deflect the concerns of advocates for immigrant
>crime victims, notes that local authorities are not required to report
>crime victims or witnesses to the Department of Homeland Security, even
>though the amendment encourages them to be on the lookout for all
> Requires the Department of Homeland Security to provide the Department of
>Justice's National Crime and Information Center (NCIC) with information on
>1) aliens against whom a final order of removal has been issued; 2) aliens
>who have signed a voluntary departure agreement; and 3) aliens whose visas
>have been revoked. The Department must submit this information even if the
>immigrant never received notice about her removal order or has already left
>the United States.
> If a state or local authority requests that DHS take an immigrant into
>federal custody, the Department must either take the alien into Federal
>custody or request the State or locality to detain or transport the
>immigrant into Federal custody.
>Sessions' Amendment Goes Way Beyond 9-11 Commission Recommendations
>The 9-11 Commission wisely recommended that local police and federal
>authorities effectively work together to identify terrorist suspects and
>for a "system for screening, not categorical profiling. A screening system
>looks for particular, identifiable suspects or indicators of risk. It does
>not involve guesswork about who might be dangerous." Far from a system of
>screening, as the Commission recommends, this amendment turns all police
>into immigration agents, sending police chasing potentially hundreds of
>thousands of immigrants without any reasonable or useful indictors of risk.
>This amendment makes a mockery of the hard work of the bipartisan 9-11
>Commission and leaves the country more vulnerable to real criminals.
>The Amendment is Sen. Sessions' Agenda, Not the Effective Recommendations
>of the 9-11 Commission
>The Commission did not recommend, as Senator Sessions' amendment requires,
>for police to become immigration agents. This amendment is an effort to
>pass an unpopular Senate bill, the Homeland Security Enhancement Act (S.
>1906) (known as the CLEAR Act in the House), which has not moved through
>regular order in either chamber of Congress because it is opposed by so
>many law enforcement agencies, state and local governments, crime victim
>advocates, civil rights groups, and others.
>Sessions' Amendment Will Effect Thousands, Perhaps Millions
>While Senator Sessions and his allies are framing their amendment as
>limited in scope and highly targeted, it is not. It puts sweeping new
>responsibilities on state and local police and could fundamentally change
>the relationship between all immigrant communities and the police
>departments that serve them.
>Sessions' Amendment Piles Work on the Backs of Cops
>Everyone agrees that police should work with federal authorities to
>identify and apprehend real criminals and terrorists. And state and local
>police already have the authority to enforce criminal law and assist the
>federal government in criminal and terrorism-related investigations. What
>police don't have or want is the authority to enforce the panoply of
>complex, administrative laws that are the mandate of the federal
>immigration agencies. By loading on the backs of state and local police
>responsibility for enforcing federal civil immigration laws, police will be
>distracted and less able to do their jobs well, leaving all communities
>Sessions' Amendments Will Send Police Chasing Undocumented Busboys, Not
>The amendment will result in hundreds of thousands of immigrants' names
>being thrown into the National Crime Information Center database. This is
>the critical FBI database used by state and local police to identify wanted
>criminals and suspected terrorists. Pouring in names of random immigrants
>who have overstayed their visas junks it up with bad immigration service
>data and diverts local police resources from their main job: fighting
>crime. Would you rather have your state and local peace officers spending
>time booking hard-working immigrants whose only crime is overstaying a
>tourist visa, or criminals loose on our streets?
>Listen to Law Enforcement: Sessions' Amendment Sets Up Communities to be
>Insecure and Unstable
>Police departments and law enforcement experts across the country have
>considered and rejected the concept behind the Sessions amendment. They
>know that being tagged with the label of immigration agents guarantees a
>fearful community, dried up criminal leads and silent sources. Police in
>over 85 cities in 27 states are already on record opposing local
>enforcement of federal civil immigration laws for this very reason. Over
>50 states, cities, and counties in 22 states have enacted ordinances or
>resolutions that limit police cooperation with federal immigration agents
>to criminal matters, because they want to let immigrants know it's safe to
>contact the police. The Sessions amendment sends a strong signal to
>immigrants to either stay silent or risk deportation for themselves or
>their family members.
>Unfunded Mandates, Law Suits, and Administrative Burdens on our First
>The Sessions amendment will not add money to police budgets but does add
>new responsibilities formerly taken on by the federal government. These
>new responsibilities constitute a massive unfunded federal mandate that
>will prove costly to already strapped local governments, police
>departments, and first responders. Furthermore, when local police have
>previously waded into the complicated world of federal immigration
>enforcement, mistakes have invariably been made with a common American
>response: law suits. The Sessions amendment will leave police departments
>and local governments in a legal cloud, facing massive civil law suits if
>they are, predictably, unable to enforce the federal immigration code
>Community Policing is Effective, Turning Cops into Immigration Agents is
>Scores of police departments around the nation denounce efforts to turn
>them into immigration agents. They know that such policies hurt their
>ability to fight crime and promote public safety in local communities.
>Community policing has been credited by everyone from Rudy Giuliani to John
>Ashcroft with the dramatic drop in violent crime since the 1990s. Police
>in immigrant communities understand that they need to have good
>relationships with all residents in order to get tips and information about
>actual crimes. Communities that are afraid to report crimes are unsafe and
>unstable. As the 9-11 Commission wrote, "Our borders and immigration
>system, including law enforcement, ought to send a message of welcome,
>tolerance, and justice to members of immigrant communities in the United
>States and in their countries of origin. We should reach out to immigrant
>By cloaking his free-standing bill in the name of the 9-11 Commission,
>Senator Sessions is attempting to gain traction and pass a controversial
>measure without debate. Instead of twisting the words of the 9-11
>Commission to meet an anti-immigrant agenda, we urge all senators to see
>the Sessions amendment for what it is, and to vote it down.
FREE pop-up blocking with the new MSN Toolbar � get it now!
The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2004
Do you Yahoo!?
Read only the mail you want - Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]