Prominent Groups on GOP Border Bills: VOTE NO!
As Boehner and House Republicans take up their callous bills in response to the humanitarian crisis on the southern border, prominent groups have expressed their strong opposition and concern over them. See what some had to say:
I write on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to express the bishops’ opposition to H.R. 5230…it would make crippling changes to current U.S. trafficking victim protection law that we fear would send these vulnerable children…
…His Holiness Pope Francis called on nations to exercise compassion for and care of the growing number of children fleeing violence in Central America who are seeking shelter and protection in the United States and elsewhere in the region…
How our nation responds to this challenge is a moral test of our national character. We ask that you oppose H.R. 5230, which we feel fails to live up to that test.
From theAmerican Bar Association:
There is no question that the rapid increase in unaccompanied children entering our country presents many difficult challenges that require our nation to respond. However, in the rush to address the current crisis, the United States cannot abandon the principles of fairness and due process. H.R. 5230 fails in this regard…”
…in the rush to address the current crisis, the United States cannot abandon the principles of fairness and due process. H.R. 5230 fails in this regard and we strongly urge you to vote against it…
Any minute Congress may vote on a bill that puts the women and children at our southern border in grave danger.
We must provide families and children in need with protection, not deportation. We need your help to ensure that any legislation Congress passes provides real solutions and protections for vulnerable children.
From the Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
…This bill falls far short of protecting vulnerable individuals fleeing violence and insecurity in their home countries.
H.R. 5230 would repeal critical provisions of the bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) and make it more difficult for all unaccompanied children coming to the United States to seek relief.
After more than a year of inaction by the House on one of the most important issues facing our nation, it is shameful that the House’s first move calls for new procedures to fast-track the deportation of vulnerable children.
We strongly urge you to vote against both of these measures…
Children who have escaped violence and endured significant trauma require careful screening by trained professionals. To meet this goal, we strongly oppose any amendments to the Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) that would expedite deportations without due process, leaving the fate of these children in the hands of Customs and Border Protection officers who are no adequately trained for this task…We, AA & NHPI organizations, pledge to stand in solidarity with Central American and broader immigrant communities to protect unaccompanied migrant children and families who risk their lives to seek refuge from murder, violence, and trafficking in their home countries. This is a humanitarian crisis that must put children before politics.
From the National Education Association:
On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), and the students they serve, we urge you to VOTE NO on the House supplemental appropriations measure (H.R. 5230…We also urge you to VOTE NO on H.R. 5272, a bill aimed at (DACA) which protects “DREAMers”…
…These are children from Central America who are fleeing violence and coming to the United States in search of safety. We should respond to them with our finest ideals, not our worst fears…We must treat these children humanely, with dignity. Those who are fleeing violence need protection.
Likewise, the bill to prevent further expansion of DACA is misguided. DACA protects children from deportation by offering them temporary status so they may lawfully work as they endeavor to reach their full educational and career potential. Today’s vote…would only serve to freeze our broken immigration system in place and inhibit our ability to build upon the successes of the program for countless children who are seeking opportunity and the chance to fully contribute to the country they know and cherish.
From the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:
Our faith calls us to stand for welcome, justice and compassion for all vulnerable persons seeking safety on our shores. Additionally, our experience serving more than 500,000 resettled refugees and almost 10,000 children who arrived in the United States alone compels us to advocate for just and fair treatment for all migrants and refugees, especially now when thousands of families and children are coming to America seeking refuge. If passed, H.R. 5230 would have devastating effects on vulnerable children, asylum-seekers, families, refugees and other migrants.
Preserving due process is paramount. The AFL-CIO strongly objects to the policy changes in H.R. 5230 that limit due process for vulnerable populations at the border and run counter to established U.S. and international norms regarding the detainment of children and refugees. In particular, we firmly believe the essential protections in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) should either be strengthened or maintained, but should under no circumstances be rolled back.
From the Human Rights Campaign (HRC):
…the House is expected to vote on H.R. 5272, which would severely limit President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) strongly urges your boss to vote no on this bill…DACA allows these young people to come out of the shadows and live fully within their communities…HRC believes that DACA is vital and should not be curtailed.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrants would be particularly harmed by this legislation. In nearly a third of countries around the world, it is a crime to be LGBT. Thousands of people every year are arrested, harassed and even murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sending LGBT immigrants back to these countries would gravely threaten their health and safety.
We, the undersigned 191 faith-based, civil and human rights, immigration, anti-violence, labor, public health, education, and legal services organizations, urge you to respond to the refugee situation at the southern border by bringing a clean supplemental funding bill, containing no proposals to curtail protections for unaccompanied children…
We oppose any attempt to add provisions to a supplemental funding bill that would roll back the fundamental protections for children…
In the face of this complex humanitarian challenge, our nation must not compromise on fundamental principles of compassion, fairness, and due process, nor on our international refugee protection obligations.
Hundreds of other organizations have also expressed their opposition. These Republican bills do not reflect who we are as a country. We must respect the dignity of the children. We must stop wasting time and do better than this.