Congress has been in session for only a week and is already poised to vote on significant immigration legislation. The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a spending package to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015. A spending bill must be passed before current DHS funding expires on February 27th.
The proposed spending package in the House, H.R. 240, includes harmful amendments that would separate families and place under daily fear of deportation thousands of our friends, family members and neighbors, including young people who arrived in the United States as children. These amendments prevent the implementation of the President’s recent Immigration Accountability Executive Actions and would rip apart our families, communities and congregations.
The following two proposed amendments are of most concern to LIRS:
- The Aderholt/Mulvaney/Barletta amendment would needlessly rupture families due to deportation. This amendment erects barriers to family unity by preventing the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the extension of relief from deportation to certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizen and legal permanent resident children, and the prioritizing of immigration enforcement on serious threats to our communities.
- The Blackburn amendment would lead to instability and fear in our workplaces, schools, communities and congregations by exposing hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the United States as children, or “DREAMers,” to the possibility of deportation.
LIRS supports stabilizing the status of people who are valuable members of our communities, worship in our churches, and call America home. As people of faith, we believe that migrants who are integral to our communities and are beloved members of our families should be free from fear of deportation in order to focus on their continued contributions to the country they call home.
Members of the House of Representatives must hear that people of faith oppose harmful amendments to H.R. 240 and stand for protecting family unity and ensuring that young people have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Please consider taking action online through LIRS’s Action Center or by calling your Representatives through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
We expect that there will be several more attempts to use the DHS spending bill as a vehicle to pass controversial immigration legislation. Check back to the blog for updates. Now and in the days ahead, we thank you for standing for welcome.