Oppose TVPRA Rollback (H.R. 5230) and “No More Dreamers” Act (H.R. 5272)
Advocacy Letter - 07/31/14
Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national civil and human rights advocacy organizations, we write to express our strong opposition to H.R. 5230 and H.R. 5272. After more than a year of inaction by the House on one of the most important issues facing our nation, it is shameful that the House’s first move calls for new procedures to fast-track the deportation of vulnerable children.
H.R. 5230 is a supplemental appropriations bill that also calls for drastic and inhumane changes to U.S. immigration policy. It would roll back important safeguards that Congress unanimously enacted in 2008 to help many children who are fleeing from trafficking, persecution, or violence in their home countries. It would subject all unaccompanied alien children (UACs) to fast-track screening procedures that are currently applied to children who are Mexican nationals. These expedited procedures have resulted in the return of 95.5 percent of Mexican children even though studies have shown that well over half of their cases would have raised international protection concerns had they been given a proper hearing.
The new procedures under H.R. 5230 would rush traumatized children, many of whom have fled conditions that most of us could not possibly imagine, through a highly complicated and adversarial immigration system with no guarantee of adequate representation. It is a process that is virtually guaranteed to send countless numbers of children back to the abuses and violence they fled.
Meanwhile, H.R. 5272 would drastically limit the President’s authority to exercise common-sense prosecutorial discretion, a well-accepted aspect of law enforcement, to spare classes of deserving immigrants from the threat of deportation and to direct limited resources towards higher-priority cases. While prosecutorial discretion is hardly a solution to the longstanding problems in our nation’s immigration policies, it is the only remaining option at the President’s disposal given the House’s refusal to take up legislation on the underlying issues. With this measure, the House is effectively saying “until we act, no one else can act – and we’re not going to act.”
We strongly urge you to vote against both of these measures, should they come up on the House floor today. If you have any questions, please contact either of us or Senior Counsel Rob Randhava at (202) 466-3311. Thank you.
President & CEO
Executive Vice President