UPDATE: BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE SAVE ACT (HR 4088):
The chief co-sponsors of the SAVE Act (HR. 4088) are Rep. Heath Shuler (D-North Carolina), Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-California), and Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) who has made a career, including a failed presidential candidacy on anti-immigrant rhetoric. Rep. Bilbray leads the House Immigration Reform Caucus and is a former lobbyist of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization recognized as a hate group by mainstream civil rights and research organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center. For a list of co-sponsors on the SAVE Act, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR04088:
About the SAVE Act:
- It would require more than six million employers to verify the work status of more than 130 million workers within four years, regardless of their status, using a federal database already known to have over 17 million errors.
It would result in 12.7 million US citizens being forced to have an already overtaxed bureaucracy correct their records within a ten day window, or face mandatory termination of employment.
- It would make it easier for the government to put religious and humanitarian workers behind bars for so-called "alien smuggling" - - mandating penalties up to 5 years imprisonment
- It would require all local law enforcement agencies to become immigration agents, requiring them to do immigration checks at every traffic stop and domestic dispute…. A policy that has been opposed by leading law enforcement organizations.
Facing the specter of having to run on their accomplishments this coming November, nervous Republicans are scrambling for an issue to distract the electorate from their dismal records. The SAVE Act is just a return to the short-sighted Sensenbrenner Bill (HR 4437) and represents more of the failure in leadership that has marked Republican efforts on this issue. We need leaders who will tackle tough issues and be willing to do the hard work necessary to solve complicated problem intelligently - not offer false promises, empty rhetoric, and cynical election-year ploys at the expense of immigrant families .
The SAVE Act (HR4088) would Require over 130 million US workers to prove they have the legal right to work, it would force employers to submit to using a broken government database, so inaccurate that 12.7 million US-born and legal resident workers are categorized as undocumented workers. Once caught in this maze of bureaucratic incompetence, the SAVE Act would allow only ten days to prove ones eligibility to work or face mandatory termination.
In unsettled economic times, when many Americans are a single paycheck away from economic disaster, the last thing we need is another cynical election-year ploy to play to "the base" at the expense of working families. The American people want real solutions to real problems ... not cheap sound-bites masquerading as legislation.
Call your representative today, and tell them you want them to do the real work you hired them to do, and not concentrate on divisive distractions in hopes of saving their political hides in November.
Tell them to concentrate on addressing these economic problems. Tell them you want them to fix health care for all Americans. Tell them you want the education system fixed. Tell them to fix our broken immigration system. Tell them to stop wasting precious lives and needed resources in a war that should never have been authorized and should not be continued.
Tell them you will not settle for half-baked schemes and election-year ploys ... especially at the expense of millions of jobs that are needed to keep our heads just barely above water in tough economic times.
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My buddy Manny from Latino Politico is spending the weekend attending the New Organizing Institute (NOI) blogger conference in DC, and got to spend some time hobnobbing with some congressional staffers. Of course he managed to get some inside dirt on the SAVE Act fight… and it's good news so far
Check out his report HERE
As of yesterday the Republicans had managed to get 181 of the 218 signatures needed to force the SAVE Act to the floor.
Yet, it appears that the Democratic Caucus is holding and only 9 defectors have crossed over to sign the Republican "discharge petition"
(Ga.) – Rep. Barrow
(Ind.) - Rep. Ellsworth
(Ind.) - Rep. Donnelly
(Kan.) – Rep. Boyda
(Miss.) - Rep. Taylor
(N.C.) – Rep. McIntyre
(N.C.) - Rep. Shuler
(Pa.) - Rep. Carney
(Texas) – Rep. Lampson
and 26 Republicans have not yet buckled to partisan pressure.
(WV) - Capito, Shelley Moore
(FL) - Diaz-Balart, Lincoln
(FL) - Diaz-Balart, Mario
(MI) - Ehlers, Vernon J.
(NY) - Fossella, Vito
(WA) - Hastings, Doc
(OH) - Hobson, David L.
(IL) - Johnson, Timothy V.
(NY) - Kuhl, John R. ``Randy'' Jr.
(NJ) - LoBiondo, Frank A.
(NY) - McHugh, John M.
(WA) - McMorris Rodgers, Cathy
(CA) - Nunes, Devin
(TX) - Paul, Ron
(MS) - Pickering, Charles W. ``Chip''
(OH) - Pryce, Deborah
(CA) - Radanovich, George
(MT) - Rehberg, Dennis R.
(NY) - Reynolds, Thomas M.
(AL) - Rogers, Mike
(FL) - Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana
(ID) - Sali, Bill
(IN) - Souder, Mark E.
(OH) - Tiberi, Patrick J.
(MI) - Upton, Fred
(NY) - Walsh, James T.
(AK) - Young, Don
But ... Given that 49 Democrats originally signed on as sponsors for the bill, and 26 Republicans are still up for grabs, anti-immigrant forces are still within striking distance of getting this bill to the floor.
Groups like FAIR/NumbersUSA and their minions in the right-wing noise machine have ratcheted up the rhetoric and are engaging in a full-blown effort to move this bill forward.
Like in the last round of CIR legislation, they have engaged in a massive e-mail campaign to get out their followers. Once again they are offering free fax services and on-line tools to flood congressional offices with emails, letters, phone calls and faxes in support of the bill.
WE have neither the money nor resources to combat this on equal footing …but we can do our best.
Contact your Representative today and tell them not to support the SAVE Act….and while you're at it…drop one of those 26 Republicans a line and let them know that you hope they continue to buck the machine and support them for doing so