Question: I have heard that Congress will finally be passing some type of new comprehensive Intelligence Bill. But at the same time, I have heard that there are various immigration provisions that will also be passed. Are these items related?
Answer: Unfortunately, in order to get certain congresspersons to help to pass a major reform bill, there is a great deal of back door negotiating. In this bill, it is no different. The provisions that they have requested go into this bill regarding immigration are draconian and will hurt immigrants.
Question: Is it law yet? Is there anything anyone can do to stop the immigration provisions from going into the bill?
Answer: No, it is not law yet. When Congress returns to session, your Senators and Representatives may be voting on intelligence reform legislation. Whether that legislation includes anti-immigrant and anti-civil liberty measures could be up to you! Join pro-immigration groups across the country this week and contact your Senators and Representatives through the Congressional Switchboard (202-224-3121) and through Contact Congress. Congressional offices are reporting that calls and letters in support of these ill-conceived measures are coming into their offices. Now, it is up to all of us to make sure that we make our voices heard and send a letter or e-mail or simply call our congressional representative.
Along with your own Members of Congress, please contact the following Members of Congress by phone: Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) at 202-225-2976. Representative Hoekstra (R-MI) at 202-225-4401. Representative Harman (D-CA) at 202-225-8220. We need to thank her for her leadership and urge her to hold firm. Senator Collins (R-ME) at 202-224-2523. We need to also thank her for her leadership and urge her to hold firm. Senator Lieberman (D-CT) at 202-224-4041. We need to thank him for his leadership and urge him to hold firm.
After calling your Members of Congress, you can also write to them using Contact Congress to urge them to oppose the anti-immigrant provisions in the proposed Intelligence Reform legislation.
President Bush also needs to hear from you because he has said that he will work to get a bill passed this year. It is important that you contact him by phone and email a letter to urge him to support an intelligence reform bill that does not include these negative provisions. Contact the White House by phone at 202-456-1111.
It may seem that a single person cannot make a difference. However, if each of us tries to take this small step, it could make all the difference in the end.