Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Senate Judiciary Committee to finish work on immigration bill this week

As you might know, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that contains many of the more draconian aspects of the House bill (HR4437) passed last December.


  • Up to five years in jail for people who assist an illegal to remain in the US, or transport them within the US, which could conceivably include aid from charities, churches, free medical clinics, etc.

  • Possible deportation, without any hearing, of anyone picked up within 100 miles of the border who an immigration agent thinks is illegal.

  • Creates a new federal “aggravated felony” crime of any “illegal presence,” even if the cause is not the fault of the immigrant, such as their legal paperwork being processed too slowly. They can then be detained indefinitely.

  • Limit the basic rights of immigrants to judicial review, even by the constitutionally guaranteed writ of habeas corpus.

  • Criminalize all violations of immigration law, even if the violation was unintentional or the result of processing delays

  • Give additional powers to detain non-citizens indefinitely without judicial review, potentially placing many non-citizens in a legal black hole that subjects them to a life sentence after having served a criminal sentence, or, in some cases, without ever having been convicted of a crime

(more below the fold)

On Wednesday and Thursday, the committee will meet to consider the these provisions.

If you haven't called Senators on the Judiciary Committee yet, please do so today.

They are listed below.
Senate Judiciary Committee: Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) - 202-224-4254 Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) - 202-224-5251 Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) - 202-224-3744 Sen. Jon L. Kyl (R-AZ) - 202-224-4521 Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) - 202-224-2315 Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) - 202-224-4124 Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC) - 202-224-5972 Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) - 202-224-2934 Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) - 202-224-6521 Sen. Thomas A. Coburn (R-OK) - 202-224-5754 Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) - 202-224-4242 Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) - 202-224-4543 Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) - 202-224-5042 Sen. Herbert H. Kohl (D-WI) - 202-224-5653 Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - 202-224-3841 Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) - 202-224-5323 Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) - 202-224-6542 Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) - 202-224-2152

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