NLA Info: Nationwide Immigration Policy Conference Call
azbecker at mindspring.com
Tue Apr 17 11:25:33 EDT 2001
Friday April 20
Sender: nla-approval at world.std.com
There is a more extensive report on the repeal of Executive Order13166
below. Any advocates (including educators) can join on this call but there
will be a fee.
------ Forwarded Message
From: "Maurice Belanger" <Mbelanger at immigrationforum.org>
Reply-To: <Mbelanger at immigrationforum.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 10:55:39 -0400
To: <mauriceb at erols.com>
Subject: Reminder - Nationwide Immigration Policy Conference Call Friday
April 17, 2001
To: Interested Immigrant and Refugee Advocates
From: Maurice Belanger
Re: 2nd Nationwide Conference Call on Immigration Policy Friday April 20,
1:00 PM Eastern Time (10:00 AM Pacific Time)
Please join immigration advocates for updates and information sharing on
immigrant and refugee policy issue on the monthly "Share-the-Cost"
nationwide conference call on Friday April 20, 2001 at 1:00PM EST. You must
have a Vialog conference call account code. If you do not have an account
code, you should call Vialog at 888-727-2560 before the call. Without an
account code, you will not be able to get on the call.
To get on the call, dial 703-871-3094 and ask for the Immigration Policy
Nationwide conference call. The confirmation number is 5159264. Angela
Kelley will moderate this call. You will be asked for your conference call
Issues to be Discussed on the Call:
*Capitol Hill and White House updates
*Activities of Anti-Immigrant Groups
*May Day Activities
Following are summaries from the Washington-based working groups.
Asylum Working Group:
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), chair of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee,
will re-introduce the Refugee Protection Act after holding hearings, which
are tentatively scheduled for May 3, 2001. The Asylum Working Group is
currently mapping out a strategy for pushing this legislation forward, which
will most likely include visits to key Congressional offices and press work.
The Working Group is also planning a variety of events around World Refugee
Day (June 20, 2001), including a national lobbying effort, a news
conference, and an event sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum on refugee protection. The goal of these activities will be to
garner support for refugee and asylee-related legislation, including the
Alien Unaccompanied Minor Adjustment and Protection Act of 2001 (HR. 505)
and the Refugee Protection Act.
Members of the Working Group has been running a national op-ed campaign,
placing letters on refugee and asylee-related issues in targeted newspapers.
If you can suggest effective signatories for these letters or would like to
help out with the campaign, please contact Gene Guerrero of the Lawyers
Committee for Human Rights at (202) 547-5692, x206 or guerrerog at lchr.org.
Benefits Working Group:
In recent weeks, there have been serious threats to Executive Order 13166
signed last year by President Clinton calling upon agencies to prepare a
plan to improve access to federal programs and activities by eligible
limited English proficient (LEP) individuals.
On March 8th, Rep. Stump introduced H.R. 969, legislation that would repeal
Executive Order 13166. The bill has gained 44 cosponsors in the few weeks
since its introduction. In addition, 51 medical and dental associations
have signed on to a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Service, Tommy
Thompson, asking him to "impose an immediate moratorium on enforcement of
the Office for Civil Rights Policy Guidance on Limited English Proficiency,"
and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies has weighed in with
the Department of Labor in opposition to their Guidance. Advocates believe
that the White House is now in the process of developing its response to the
proposed legislation, and by extension to the Executive Order.
The threats have generated an enormous amount of energy around the issue.
Advocacy groups distributed sign-on letters urging President Bush to affirm
his administrations support for the Executive Order. In total, over 300
groups signed the letters. Advocates from around the country participated
in a conference call to share information and to come up with a continued
coordinated response to pressures to repeal the Executive Order. As a first
step, advocates are planning a call in day to Congressional Members and the
White House on April 25th to respond to an inaccurate and inflammatory
postcard campaign currently being circulated. Additional information on the
call will be sent out next week.
On March 21st a bipartisan group of House and Senate members introduced a
package of bills under the banner Healthy Solution for Americas Hard
Working Families which includes:
· IMMIGRANT CHILDREN'S HEALTH IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2001 (S. 582, H.R. 1143),
which would give states the option of covering all lawfully present pregnant
women and children pregnant women and children under Medicaid and/or SCHIP.
The bills were introduced by Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and John McCain
(R-AZ) in the Senate and by Representatives Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and
Henry Waxman (D-CA) in the House.
· THE NUTRITION ASSISTANCE FOR WORKING FAMILIES AND SENIORS ACT (S.583)
would allow qualified immigrants to obtain food stamps if they would
otherwise be eligible, regardless of their date of entry. Sponsors would
remain liable for use of food stamps by any immigrants they sponsor, with an
exception for hardship or severe circumstances beyond the control of the
sponsor. The Act would also make some additional improvements to the Food
Stamp Program. The bill was introduced by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and
Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Representatives Jim Walsh (R-NY) and Eva Clayton (D-NC)
expect to introduce a similar bill in the House after the April recess.
· WOMEN IMMIGRANT'S SAFE HARBOR ACT
Although details of the bill are still being worked out, the proposed
legislation would, at minimum, exempt battered immigrant women from the
five-year bar, regardless of their date of entry. It would also eliminate
deeming. The bill will be introduced by Representatives Sandy Levin (D-MI)
and Connie Morella (R-MD) in the House.
Due Process Working Group:
During the week of April 23rd, the Supreme Court will be hearing two
important cases having to do with the mandatory removal provisions of the
1996 immigration and anti-terrorist laws. This will provide advocates with
an opportunity to draw attention to the harsh provisions of the 1996 laws,
and to shine the media spotlight on individuals and families affected by the
Citizens and Immigrants for Equal Justice (CIEJ) will be in Washington
around the time of the Supreme Court argument. On April 23rd, there will be
a vigil in front of the Supreme Court with affected individuals, their
families, and supporters. During the arguments on April 24th, immigrant
victims of the 1996 law will be speaking with reporters outside of the
Court, putting a "human face" on the legal arguments. The folks from CIEJ
will also be making visits to Congressional offices, asking for legislative
relief from the harsh 1996 laws. Outside of Washington, rallies will be
held in Dallas and Los Angeles.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has reintroduced a bill he sponsored last year.
H.R. 1452, the Family Reunification Act of 2001, would make modest changes
to the 1996 laws, restoring for some immigrants who committed crimes the
opportunity to apply for relief from deportation. Among other things, the
bill would allow an immigrant to apply for relief from deportation under
rules that applied at the time the immigrant committed an offense (to fix
the retroactive application of the law). The bill would also narrow the
overly-broad definition of "aggravated felony."
Additional legislation, with more sweeping fixes to the 1996 laws, are
expected to be introduced in both the House and the Senate later this year.
Border Working Group:
On May 4th, the Border Working Group will be hosting a panel discussion on
the University of Houstons report Causes and Trends in Migrant Deaths
Along the U.S.-Mexico Border at 10:00am on Capitol Hill. This public
education forum will discuss the state of the United States border
deterrance policy and the human toll effects of this policy. Further
details on the forum will be circulated once they become available.
Senior Policy Associate
National Immigration Forum
E-Mail: mbelanger at immigrationforum.org
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