Joint Letter Opposing H2431 ("SAFE Act") | Reconstructing Judaism

Joint Letter Opposing H2431 ("SAFE Act")

Endorsement
PDF icon 2017-05_ngo_letter_in_opposition_to_safe_act.pdf

 

RRC and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities were among nearly 200 local and national organizations to sign this joint letter asking House Judiciary Committee members to oppose H.R. 2431 as a draconian measure that would criminalize undocumented immigrants and undermine due process protections. A full footnoted copy of the letter, with all signatories, is attached to this page. The main text of the letter is included below. 


Dear Member of the Judiciary Committee:

 

On behalf of the 192 undersigned national, state, and local religious, civil rights, ethnic, and immigration organizations, we strongly urge you to vote against the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 2431 (Trump Mass Deportation Act), previously known as the SAFE Act. The Trump Mass Deportation Act would criminalize undocumented immigrants, eliminate due process protections, and undermine the federal government’s supremacy in regards to immigration enforcement. Designed to criminalize immigrants and drive them further into the shadows, the Trump Mass Deportation Act provides no real reform or solutions; it merely offers an expanded version of the “enforcement” only strategies, a discredited approach divorced from current realities. Consequently, the Trump Mass Deportation Act contains an abundance of draconian measures that would be wasteful, unjust, and ineffective and bring about further deformation, not reformation, of our immigration system.

The bill contains several provisions which will promote racial profiling. Allowing local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration with the same authority as though they were U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents, will, as history has shown, result in racial profiling and violation of constitutional rights. Moreover, the bill undermines public safety and community trust by shifting necessary law enforcement resources away from their core mission of protecting and serving our communities to rounding up suspected immigrants for deportation. Effective law enforcement is premised on community trust, where the community reports and cooperates with local law enforcement. As current practice demonstrates, turning local police officers into ICE agents results in scared, uncooperative communities. As local governments and police wrestle with how to build trust with communities, bills such as this one—which dramatically criminalize more community members—are a step backwards for both citizens and noncitizens alike. Critically, in terms of resourcing, the bill’s attempts to fund this grafting of local law enforcement into the immigration enforcement system fall far short. Already struggling local governments will face crushing financial burdens as they are usurped into mandatorily participating in this draconian scheme.

This legislation will overburden an immigration court system that is already in crisis. In addition to ensuring that more immigrants are unnecessarily funneled into the deportation system, this bill eliminates bedrock legal procedures and will result in more cumbersome legal proceedings, further weighing down immigration judges and their caseloads. Immigration judges already have severe limitations on their power to consider granting a pardon from deportation based on family hardship and other factors. This bill extends those limitations to refugees and asylum seekers facing deportation.

As a result of this legislation, more people would be removed on evidence that was not admitted during a trial, leading adjudicators to re-adjudicate criminal cases—without the constitutionally enshrined due process protections that traditionally accompany that adjudication. The Trump Mass Deportation Act flies in the face of the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court by barring immigration judges and immigration law enforcement from recognizing decisions overturning an immigrant’s conviction where it was obtained on the basis of bad advice from their defense attorney. Our Constitution and laws attempt to ensure that people are not wrongly convicted of crimes because of their lawyer’s mistakes. When they are, these convictions can and should be overturned. This bill would permit noncitizens to still be deported or denied lawful status based on the conviction, even where it was overturned.

Finally, this bill also unnecessarily expands the scope of criminal convictions for which a noncitizen can be deported to include misdemeanors from long ago. The current immigration law already has in place insurmountable barriers that prevent many individuals from obtaining legal status or strips them of legal status they already have for broad categories of criminal offenses. These categories include minor offenses, mistakes that occurred years ago, and offenses for which they have already been held accountable. This bill will add additional overlapping offenses to an already overly broad list, making individuals ineligible for legal status and subject to deportation.

These are just a few of the provisions in the Trump Mass Deportation Act that make the entire legislation a devastating step away from modernizing our immigration system to be more fair, justice, and humane. In light of the above, we strongly urge you vote against the Trump Mass Deportation Act (the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act Act, H.R. 2431).

Thank you for your consideration of this request. If you have any questions, please contact Jose Magaña-Salgado at jmagana@ilrc.org or 202-777-8999.

Sincerely,

National Organizations

  • America’s Voice Education Fund
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • Americans for Immigrant Justice
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
  • Bend the Arc Jewish Action
  • Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network
  • Center for American Progress
  • Center for Employment Training
  • Center for Law and Social Policy
  • Church World Service
  • Columbia Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
  • Comboni Missionaries JPIC
  • Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  • Demos
  • Detention Watch Network
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Farmworker Justice
  • Franciscan Action Network
  • Franciscans, Third Order Regular, JPIC Committee
  • Fuerza Mundial
  • Grassroots Leadership
  • HIAS
  • Immigrant Legal Resource Center
  • Immigration Equality Action Fund
  • Irish Apostolate USA
  • Jesus E. Saucedo
  • Jewish Labor Committee
  • JPIC Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
  • Lambda Legal
  • Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
  • Law Offices of Roxana Amiri
  • League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Mi Familia Vota
  • NAACP
  • National Action Network
  • National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Council of La Raza
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • National Immigration Law Center
  • National Immigration Project of the NLG
  • National Justice for Our Neighbors
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
  • National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
  • Presente.org
  • Rabbinical Assembly
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
  • Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
  • Sisters of St. Francis Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee
  • Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa
  • SOA Watch
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • United We Dream
  • Vote Allies
  • Voto Latino
  • We Belong Together
  • Wheaton Franciscans
  • Women’s Refugee Commission

 

State and Local Organizations

  • Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.
  • Alianza
  • API RISE
  • Arkansas United Community Coalition
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA
  • Asian Law Alliance
  • Atlas: DIY
  • Austin Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Beaches CAN (Community Action Network)
  • California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Campaign for Hoosier Families
  • CASA
  • Catholic Agency for Migration & Refugee Services
  • Centro Romero
  • Cleveland Jobs with Justice
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
  • Commonwealth Law Group - Attorneys at Law
  • Community Relations Committee, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
  • Comunidad Colectiva
  • Cornell Law School Asylum and CAT Appeals Clinic
  • Duval Democratic Asian Pacific Caucus
  • East Bay Community Law Center
  • El Pueblo, Inc.
  • El Vínculo Hispano / Hispanic Liaison
  • Emerald Isle Immigration Center
  • Employee Rights Center
  • Equal Access Legal Services
  • Equal Justice Center
  • Equality California
  • FACTR (Family Alliance for counseling Tools and Resolution
  • Faith in the Valley
  • FANM/Haitian Women of Miami
  • Farmworker Association of Florida
  • First Friends of NJ and NY
  • Florida Immigrant Coalition, Inc. (FLIC)
  • Franciscan Peace Center
  • Franciscan Sisters of the Poor
  • Franciscans for Justice
  • Fuerza Del Valle
  • Grassroots Alliance for Immigrant Rights
  • Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
  • Her Justice
  • HIAS Pennsylvania
  • Hispanic Free Legal Clinic/Law Offices of Raymond E. Schrank II sc
  • Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
  • Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • Immigrant Hope-Wyoming Idaho
  • Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
  • Immigration Center for Women and Children
  • Iowa Unitarian Universalist Witness/Advocacy Network
  • Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
  • Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay
  • Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley
  • Jewish Labor Committee, New England Chapter
  • Justice for All
  • Justice for Our Neighbors West Michigan
  • Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • Khmer Girls in Action
  • La Casa de Amistad
  • La Frontera Ministries
  • La Raza Centro Legal
  • La Union del Pueblo Entero
  • Lafayette Urban Ministry
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
  • Legal Services for Children
  • Lemkin House Inc
  • Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • MORAL MONDAYS ON D.o.G STREET
  • NC Council of Churches
  • Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest
  • NM Immigrant Law Center
  • North Carolina Justice Center
  • Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors
  • Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights
  • Northern Valley Catholic Social Service
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • OneAmerica
  • Opening Doors, Inc.
  • Our Revolution South Carolina
  • Ozment Law
  • Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
  • Proyecto Juan Diego
  • Reformed Church of Highland Park
  • Refugio del Rio Grande
  • Safe Passage
  • San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center
  • Schwarz Family Trust
  • Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
  • Social Justice Collaborative
  • South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship And Training (SAFEST)
  • South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
  • Southern California Immigration Project
  • SouthTexasHumanRightsCenter
  • Southwestern Law School Immigration Law Clinic
  • Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
  • Texas Organizing Project
  • The New Florida Majority
  • Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois
  • Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Virginia
  • Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN)
  • University Leadership Initiative
  • University of Tulsa Immigrant Rights Project
  • UPLIFT
  • US Together
  • Washington Defender Association
  • WeCount!
  • Wilco Justice Alliance (Williamson County, TX)
  • Women’s March Central Gulf Coast Florida
  • Women’s March Florida
  • Women’s March Florida Keys
  • Women’s March Immigration Group
  • Young Immigrants in Action
  • YWCA Greater Austin