In immigration debate, Senator Coons seeks due process and human rights guarantees Joins Judiciary chairman and two additional committee members in calling for attention to values in immigration reform
PoliticalNews.me - Feb 10,2013 - In immigration debate, Senator Coons seeks due process and human rights guarantees
Joins Judiciary chairman and two additional committee members in calling for attention to values in immigration reform
WASHINGTON – A week before the first Senate hearing on immigration reform, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in penning a letter to their Senate colleagues urging their support to ensure that the immigration reforms ultimately considered by the Senate remain “grounded in civil and human rights, and ensure due process, equal treatment, and fairness.” Senators Coons, Blumenthal and Hirono are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Leahy chairs the committee.
“America is at a crossroads,” the senators wrote in a letter sent Wednesday morning. “The question we face is not only how much enforcement we need, but how we will bring our enforcement in line with our nation’s values.”
“Current immigration enforcement practices tear families apart and hurt people who know only America as home. More than one in every five people deported are parents of U.S. citizens. Thousands of people, including those seeking asylum, are unnecessarily detained at great expense to taxpayers even though they pose no threat to public safety. Our laws mandate detention or deportation for many people, denying them access to a hearing before a judge, without guaranteeing legal counsel for those who cannot afford it. Immigration enforcement measures frequently target minority and immigrant communities through impermissible racial profiling that instills fear and distrust of law enforcement and makes communities less safe. Our system is not fair. It is unnecessarily punitive and disproportionate.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on comprehensive immigration reform on Wednesday, February 13, at 9:30 a.m.
A PDF of the signed letter can be downloaded here:
As the 113th Congress begins, the need to enact comprehensive immigration reform has never been more pressing. From top to bottom, our immigration system fails to reflect our national priorities, needs and values. The treatment of workers of all skill levels, a pathway to citizenship for law abiding immigrants already here, maintenance and restoration of family unity, asylum policy, and proper allocation of enforcement resources all deserve attention.
As part of this discussion, we declare our commitment to the passage of a common-sense bill that serves our nation’s interests and upholds our Constitution. America is a nation of values, founded on the idea that all people are created equal under God, no matter what they look like or where they came from. Our immigration laws should reflect our commitment to these values. They should be grounded in civil and human rights and ensure due process, equal treatment, and fairness.
When we examine our current immigration enforcement system through the lens of these values, substantial reforms are clearly needed. Current immigration enforcement practices tear families apart and hurt people who know only America as home. More than