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Responses to HR 2278, the "SAFE Act"–A "Radical Piece of Legislation"

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The House Judiciary Committee is meeting today to markup H.R. 2278, the so-called “SAFE Act,” an extremist anti-immigrant bill which would criminalize all undocumented immigrants.  Below is a collection of responses to the bill:

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL):

The Arizona SB1070 law was substantially struck down by the Supreme Court?  No matter, the Republicans want to nationalize it.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is slapped by the Federal Court for systematically denying the civil rights of Latino U.S. citizens and legal immigrants?  No matter.  The Republicans want to canonize him…

Do not push forward a bill that criminalizes every immigrant family and makes everyone think twice before they call 9-1-1.

You are better than this.

Eliseo Medina, Service Employees International Union (SEIU):

The extremist bill being considered today by the House Judiciary Committee is a radical piece of legislation that runs completely counter to the ever growing consensus among the American public that we need to reform our immigration system in a smart, realistic and fair way.

This bill, which essentially aims to lock up all undocumented immigrants over the age of 18, is ridiculous, cold-hearted and unrealistic and has no place in the bipartisan debate about commonsense immigration reform. Further, this bill would give state and local governments unchecked power to enforce immigration laws, including detention decisions, and offer no protection against racial profiling.

We urge the House Judiciary Committee to reject this bill and for its leadership to join the mainstream movement to reform our immigration system once and for all in a way that honors and upholds our American values.

Lawrence Benito, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

Previous far-right efforts to criminalize immigrant and Latino families galvanized and helped mobilize our communities, igniting a political backlash that punishes opponents of reform once and again – as recently as the last presidential election. And for good reason: Our families are not criminals. We are mothers, aspiring doctors, teachers, DREAMers, engineers, farmworkers and job creators.

Kica Matos, Center for Community Change:

This bill signals that House Republicans will take any opportunity to score political points with their base at our expense. It criminalizes families who are part of the fabric of America. It tears fathers and mothers from their children. It is not pro-enforcement; it is anti-family. Have House Republicans learned nothing from the 2012 elections?

Angelica Salas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights:

Like any other American in pursuit of the American Dream, we will not accept the criminalization of our families. As long as Republicans seek to treat us as criminals and destroy our families, we will continue to mobilize, organize, register, and turn out voters, until the last anti-family extremist has been voted out of office. Experienced elected officials understand that quashing and denigrating immigrant families brings political consequences. Come the next election, we will ensure that House Republicans get the memo as well.

Pablo Alvarado, National Day Laborers Organizing Network:

One abusive Arpaio in Maricopa County was already too many. We don’t need Arpaio wanna-be’s in Congress.  Gowdy and Goodlatte’s unsafe act is reckless endangerment. It takes the worst of Arizona’s failures and bigotry and proposes to make it national policy.

When police enforce immigration laws, everyone is less safe. Current policy already has created a public safety crisis because of people now fearing the police.  Goodlatte and Gowdy ignore those very real fears in order to pander to the imagined fears of nativists. They ignore all evidence and endanger our safety in order to enshrine their prejudice. Immigrant communities will not stand for it. It is time for a legalization-first approach that makes political equality and inclusion a priority.