ICIRR asks IL delegation to reject Senate immigration proposal
On February 4, members of the U.S. Senate announced a proposal that would do significant damage to the rights of current and future asylum seekers, while also providing additional funding for immigration enforcement and a border wall. In response to this proposal, ICIRR executive director Lawrence Benito issued the following statement:
“The harmful Senate immigration bill cuts off legal pathways to immigration and promises to only harm people seeking safety in this country. It is being proposed now only as a way to punch down on immigrant communities in an election year. For a president who ran on a platform that included a pathway to legalization for families who have long been asking for relief, seeing Biden sign off on this MAGA-influenced, anti-immigrant proposal is particularly disappointing.
“Seeking asylum is a human right, and this bill only makes it more difficult for new arrivals to find safety and opportunity in the U.S., while also offering little to states like Illinois to respond to anti-immigrant tactics from governors in Texas and Florida. Additionally, any expansion of ICE means harm for our communities and will lead to increased deportations.
“The roots of this proposal are in the Republicans’ desire to inflict harm on immigrants, as well as the Democrats’ decision to capitulate in order to unlock funding for overseas wars. Given what’s in this proposal, it’s hard to imagine what further damage to immigrant families Democrats at the federal level will allow in order to secure future military aid.
“We demand that Senator Durbin, Senator Duckworth, and all members of the Illinois Congressional delegation reject this anti-immigrant proposal, and continue working hard to pass a pathway to legalization for as many people as possible. President Biden also must use executive action to provide relief for both long-time immigrants and new arrivals, and can do so by expanding authorization for work permits, granting parole, or halting deportations.”