We reproduce the following message from the AILA Infonet site:
Your urgent action has never been needed more than now, when the debate and negotiations on comprehensive immigration reform legislation are nearing a "make or break" point. Contrary to what you may be reading in the press, the negotiations between a White House-led group of Republican senators, and a Kennedy-led group of Democratic senators, have NOT yielded any substantive agreement. In fact, the negotiations have exposed a very troubling dynamic – the Republican effort is being controlled by Senator Kyl (R-AZ), who is insisting on:
- Zero increase in worldwide ceiling on "green cards" in future years;
- Complete elimination of all family preference categories except 2A in exchange for a flawed legalization program;
- Complete elimination of current employment-based categories, to be replaced by new "merit/point" system;
- No path to permanent residence for any new essential nonimmigrant workers;
- Incomplete reduction of family backlogs, leaving nearly a million family members already in line without any relief.
This current "offer" on the table is a program that would decimate family and employment based immigration for the coming 8 years, create a new bracero program, impose daunting impediments to legalization for the 12 million undocumented, and deny basic due process to millions of legal immigrants already in the country. Any "deal" on these terms is totally unacceptable.
For their part, the Democrats have been flexible and willing to negotiate. They have accepted a less-than-ideal legalization program, but demanded that it be workable. They have been willing to discuss new limits on family immigration provided that family members be given priority in any new merit-based or "point" system being proposed by the Republicans. And they have insisted that due process not be further eviscerated.
Senator Reid (D-NV) has committed two weeks of Senate floor debate to CIR starting Monday, May 14, 2007. If there is no "negotiated" bill to introduce, Senator Reid has stated that he will introduce last year’s Senate bill, S. 2611, as a starting point for debate. Republicans are threatening to block a "motion to proceed," thereby preventing any debate or any CIR bill from moving to the Senate floor for consideration.
What can you do? Call your Senators NOW, http://capwiz.com/aila2/home/10to1 and urge them to start the public debate, and to support a CIR bill that:
- respects family values and keeps families united;
- provides a path to eventual citizenship for the undocumented and for new essential workers; and,
- preserves and protects due process.
Tell your Senators that you are watching and that you won’t stand for anything less than reasonable, workable, comprehensive immigration reform!
Find your senators’ phone numbers and join AILA’s rapid response advocacy campaign by programming their numbers into your cell phone at: http://capwiz.com/aila2/home/10to1.