Friday, September 29, 2006

Down to the wire

Ever pulled a "all-nighter" to finish some homework or a school assignment? Congress' procrastination may lead them to do one tonight. This is the last week before their recess before the November elections.

With only hours left in this session of Congress, your elected officials are working feverishly to actually get some work done on immigration reform. It's debatable, however, whether or not their actions will result in true immigration reform that recognizes the human rights of immigrants.

The Border Fence bill is barreling through Congress. It passed the House and then the Senate was set to debate it. Senator Bill Frist moved to stop all debate on the bill ("filed for cloture") and in a vote on the issue of continuing debate, his side narrowly won on wasting no more time before voting. A few senators wanted to add ammendments that would have added flexibility to the implementation but Senator Bill Frist also took the parliamentary step of filling all the slots for possible amendments so that nothing could be added to the bill.

With all the congressional maneuvering to achieve something,/anything to show voters, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) blasted the fencing measure. He told the Los Angeles Times: "They think this simple bumper sticker will work, but it won't. It's a crass political effort by those more interested in saving their seats than securing the border."

On a related note, you may have heard about the negotiations over President Bush's treatment of "enemy combatants" during the past few days. The Senate passed the legislation today. There are many immigrant rights advocates concerned that last-minute changes could mean that provisions could also apply to immigrants inside the U.S. The concern stems from the vague language in the legislation about who is an individual who done hostile acts as well as the suspension of habeas corpus.

Dennis Hastert's attempt to add a gang-suspicion amendment to the Defense spending bill failed. Congress is slated to vote on the Defense appropriations bill tonight at 3:00 a.m. but it looks likely that they'll vote on it first thing Saturday morning.


It looks like Congress will be open for business on Saturday so try calling your Senator (202.224.3121) and ask them to vote "no" on the Secure Border Fence bill. Tell your Senators that the enforcement-only approach taken by the House of Representatives will only make the immigration situation worse. Ask them to support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform.

Also call Arlen Specter (202.224.4254) and THANK him for opposing efforts to tack enforcement-only ammendments onto the DHS appropriations bill.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Praying for comprehensive reform

On Tuesday, Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) held a press conference on the importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform legislationin this Congress.

An array of remarkable speakers from varios faiths called on Congress to take action in the remaining days of the session.

But it may be too late...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A victory of sorts but still more concerns

In their rush to ram enforcement-only legislation through Congress before the recess, House Representatives re-passed three bills on issues that they already approved in HR 4437 nearly nine months ago (yes, you heard right). On Monday they were hoping to add these bills on to a Senate appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security. But fortunately the Senate stood up to them and said "no".

Was this the result of your phone calls and e-mails asking Senators to step up for real reform and block this maneuver? Let's hope so.

It might also be what happens when Republican House Representatives spend their summer vilifying the Senate for its vision of immigration reform. Even though Republican Senators were key authors of the Senate bill, Republicans in the House have labeled it a Democratic bill. Maybe the authors weren't too happy about this... Take for example one of the Senate bill's original authors, Arlen Specter. He heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight on immigration, and the Los Angeles Times reports that he was key to blocking the House attempts to push a variety of immigration measures onto the Homeland Security spending bill. Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire told the LA Times that "Sen. Specter has been very specific that he wants to do a comprehensive bill [on immigration]"

The House and Senate negotiators did agree on spending a whopping $34.8 billion on the Department of Homeland Security in 2007 (H.R. 5441) and $21.3 billion of this will go towards border protection, immigration enforcement, and related activities. (On a related note: check out the Arizona Daily Star's series of acrticles "Sealing our Border: Why it Won't Work").

We're not out of the woods yet, however. Senators are now saying that they'll be able to work out a deal in a "lame duck" session - the time between lawmakers' return to Washington after November's elections and the start of the next Congress in January. Senator Gregg said that a comprehensive overhaul "is more doable in the lame duck session than it is" now because compromise is more likely after the elections. This is both promising and scary...

The New American Opportunity Campaign also points out three looming issues:

1. Senate Majority Leader Frist (R-TN) made a procedural move (filed for cloture) that ties the Secure Fence Act and the military tribunals bill together. The SENATE VOTE on the Secure Fence Act could take place this Thursday, September 28th. (See AILA's summary of the Secure Fence Act.)

2. Speaker Hastert (R-IL) is insisting that the Community Protection Act (the "Gang Bill") be attached to the Department of Defense Authorization Bill. It is unclear at this point if the Senate will go along with this proposal.

3. Funding for border security is still included in the DHS appropriations conference report.


The New American Opportunity Campaign suggests that you can call your Senators (tel: 202.224.3121) and

-- Ask your Senators to vote NO on the Secure Fence Act, H.R. 6061.

-- Tell your Senators that the enforcement-only approach taken by the House of Representatives will only make the immigration situation worse. Ask them to support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform.

-- Tell your Senators that enforcement-only provisions should not be attached to unrelated bills, such as spending bills or the Defense Department Authorization.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Senate considers the House's recent work

The Senate is also getting in on the just-for-show enforcement-only politicking this week.

After the House passed the Secure Fence Act last week, the Senate is considering the bill for approval this week. Can this be the same Congress that for months has dithered on holding a conference committee? Yep, but now November 7 is just around the corner.

The Senate already passed a bill with appropriated money to build a fence on the border. The new House bill has no means to pay for it. As the National Immigration Forum reflects on this development: "The fact that the Senate would again take up a fence authorization bill, when they have already voted on one, is politics, not an effort to bring [reform] to our immigration system."

Columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. points out in an excellent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fencing sounds good, but it doesn't work. At best, it might redirect human traffic, as it did in the 1990s when cracking down in San Diego and El Paso squeezed more illegal immigrants through Arizona. Besides, as any Border Patrol agent will tell you, there's no fence long enough, high enough or deep enough for the desperate not to go around, over or under it."

But of even more concern, is that Senators who are negotiating spending bills (the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and the Defense Department Appropriations Bill) may take the House bills mentioned in yesterday's blog post and tack them on to the spending bills without debate. Since these bills fund the operations of Defense and Homeland Security, it will be very difficult for advocates to stop them.

As Rubin Navarrette asserts "Republicans have cobbled together a slate of just-for-show enforcement measures intended to make voters think the illegal immigration problem can be fixed with a little spit and glue." This is NOT the action that the thousands of demonstrators were asking Congress to take: far from it.

ACTION STEP: The National Immigration Forum and other advocates in DC are calling on everyone to call your Senators immediately (202.224.3121) and say the following to their staff:

"Tell your Senator to vote no on the Fence bill, H.R. 6061, and to vote against any other enforcement-only immigration bill that may be considered.

Tell your Senator that he or she should not allow enforcement-only legislation to be attached to spending bills.

Also tell your Senator that enforcement-only will only make matters worse, and that only comprehensive immigration reform will fix our broken immigration system."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The House stands tough

Things are moving rapidly on Capitol Hill this week. After months of delay and the November elections not far ahead, the House is seeking quick action on two new bills on issues they already covered in HR 4437. There's been some last minute shuffling that have changed the bill number but here's the latest both bills (Special thanks to the National Immigration Forum):

H.R. 6095, Immigration Law Enforcement Act would mandate that local and state police to enforce immigration laws. This majorly bad idea has been floating around Washington for a while as the CLEAR ACT. The National Immigration Forum has more information here.

This bill would also make it possible to detain someone INDEFINITELY if they can't be deported, even though the Supreme Court found this unconstitutional.

This bill would also shield government employees from accountability from misdeeds while enforcing the law (Remember the recent deaths at the border and the lawsuit?)

H.R. 6094, Community Protection Act would further tie the hands of immigration judges in considering deportation for cases for individuals who may have committed a crime in the past but are now turning their lives around. Similar provisions were enacted 10 years ago with disastrous effect (1 million people deported and families destroyed). This bill would give Homeland Security UNCHECKED POWER to deport people it sees fit to remove from the country. This bill also would deport anyone SUSPECTED of being in a gang even if they have never committed a crime or are actually a gang member.


Contact your Representative TODAY and tell them to vote against H.R. 6094 and 6095.

Here's what the National Immigration Forum suggests you should say "They will not work to fix our broken immigration system. Congress should stop playing politics with immigration and pass comprehensive immigration reform. Any law that does not take into account the reality that immigrants come here to work and to be with their families is a waste of resources and time. Giving the government unchecked powers to punish immigrants, and making local police chase after immigrants will only drive undocumented immigrants further underground. It will not fix the problem; it will make matters worse."

Here are some other links to alerts released by other immigrants rights coalitions:

Alert from the Rights Working Group

Alert from the American Immigration Lawyers Association

Alert from the New American Opportunity Campaign

Monday, September 18, 2006

"I think we missed the boat with this one"

There was an excellent article by the Associate Press on Friday ( Immigration Raid Makes a Ghost Town) that illustrates what the future could be like if enforcement-only immigration measures are passed in Congress.

In the small town of Stillmore, Georgia, more than 120 illegal immigrants have been rounded up and detained for deportation and the community has been made a virtual ghost town.

The article included telling quotes from U.S. citizens in the community, statements that Congressional representatives should listen to.

"These people come over here to make a better way of life, not to blow us up," complained Keith Slater, who keeps a portrait of Ronald Reagan on the wall. "I'm a die-hard Republican, but I think we missed the boat with this one."

Trailer park operator David Robinson told AP "These people might not have American rights, but they've damn sure got human rights," Robinson said. "There ain't no reason to treat them like animals."

ACTION STEP: Copy and paste the article above and e-mail it to your representative in the House. Tell him/her that this is not what you want your country to turn into.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The House takes action (or so it seems)

On Thursday, the House approved the Secure Fence Act of 2006 with 283 votes for and 138 votes against (You can see how your representative voted here.) The bill mandates the erection of 700 miles of double-layered fencing along the 2,000-mile border that now has about 75 miles of fencing.

The bill passed Thursday doesn't include money for the fence and it's not clear how it will be paid for. The majority party said it will cost more than $2 billion and it will be included in a later appropriations bill. The minority party estimated it will cost $7 billion. But in the recent months of political showmanship, does it matter if the thing actually gets built? One of the original sponsors of the bill, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. says the bill was needed to show Americans "we can take meaningful action to secure the border." Showing is more important than doing after all... Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. said as much: "This is nothing more than political gamesmanship in the run-up to the midterm elections. Sounds good. Does nothing."

At a press conference, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) added "Republicans believe we can have a no-penetration border. If we build [the fence], they will no longer come illegally." Instead of coming illegally, would-be immigrants will die trying. A recent Government Accountability Office report showed that governmental efforts have not prevented deaths of immigrants who are now crossing in more dangerous regions along the border. More fencing will only push desperate border crossers to more desperate measures.

Another interesting aspect of the bill pertains to Border Enforcement Officers authority to stop fleeing vehicles at the border. Could this be in direct response to the recent deaths in Arizona? Could the House be anticipating possible lawsuits similar to the recent conviction of two officers who shot a Mexican man in the back in February?

Republican party members in the Senate weren't sure what to think of the Secure Fence Act. Senator Mel Martinez who co-wrote the Senate bill said "I'm not going to take a position against it. [The House bill is] not comprehensive immigration reform: it's just security."

Critics of the bill see it as political strategy. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) said "I think it's sad when House leadership has sought to take an important issue and turn it into a political platform." Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) accused House Republicans of using immigration as a scare tactic, confusing terrorists with immigrants so that Americans would think that "Osama bin Laden is heading north in a sombrero."

On Thursday, House leaders also unveiled other border security bills addressing immigrant gangs, speedier deportations and other issues they plan to consider.

ACTION STEP: E-mail your representative and tell him/her to stop making a show in Washington and do something about real immigration reform that creates a path for the 12 million undocumented people in this country to come out of the shadows and gain a legal status.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Partisan spinning of the field hearings

If you want to see a prime example of partisan political use of immigration, listen in on the House Republicans' Policy Committee which held an Immigration Forum on Tuesday, the day after the fifth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. (See C-SPAN the second item on this page.) The committee met to discuss what they supposedly learned from the summer series of field hearings around the country which they claim helped them hear the concerns of the American people.

As the National Immigration Forum noted, "[Congress] did not "hear" from the public, or from anyone who would present a reasonable solution to the immigration mess. Instead, they came to tell us that immigrants are bad, that the Senate bill is bad, and that they are in no mood to listen to anyone who would disagree with their enforcement-only approach." The best example of this was Rep. Charlie Norwood, Republican of Georgia: "What I wanted was witnesses who agree with me, not disagree with me." So what did House representatives learn at these hearings that they didn't already "know"?

At Tuesday's forum, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said ''The state of our borders is a security crisis.'' The American people want, he said, ''immediate, targeted legislation specifically designed to secure the border, protect our homeland and vigorously enforce our immigration laws.'' Hastert said the field hearings solidified his opposition to the Senate legislation, which he continues to call the "Reid-Kennedy" or "Democratic" bill. This is blatant re-writing of the facts since it was a bi-partisan effort that was lead by Republican senators Martinez and Hagel.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., in a telephone news conference with the Associated Press simply said ''This is a political game.''

For more on the Policy Committee Immigration Forum, listen to the story on National Public Radio.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rallies inside/outside the Capitol

Immigrant rights advocates rallied around the country this week but their marches didn't draw the same crowds as this past spring. In Washington, DC, the rally drew a much smaller crowd than was hoped for.

Commentators, like the Washington Post and the New York Times, were quick to say that the turnout "provide[ed] a barometer of the vitality of the immigrant rights movement" and the "political potency of such marches, which drew hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the spring, seemed to be waning." The Center for [Anti-]Immigration Studies was quick to declare that "The attempt to recreate the atmosphere in the spring has completely failed because the illegal aliens and their supporters have gotten the message that the American people aren't going to roll over for this amnesty bill."

Those in the know, however, said the lower turnout could have been a combination of lots of reasons: fear over the recent rash of immigration raids around the country, the perception among immigrants that there was little payoff from earlier marches and lost hope because Congress has squandered the opportunity to do something. Many immigrant rights advocates noted that marches are just one part of a larger strategy that encompasses community organizing, citizenship drives and voter registration; activities that groups have been engaged in way before the spring marches. Journalists may be either too busy or lazy to truly cover a story that is not as blatantly visible and more incremental and grassroots.

Meanwhile inside the Capitol building, Congresswomen/men are rallying for the November elections and using immigration reform in their larger electoral strategies. President Bush and his party has dubbed this month "Security September" and, in keeping with that theme, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert told the press "We're at war, and we need to act like it. We need to close the borders." (Question: Does he mean close the holes in the border or close the border completely?)

The bottom line is that no one can quite predict how the immigration card will influence the elections. Will voters reward Congressional representatives for being tough on undocumented immigrants? Or will the hard-nosed "enforcement-first" approach appear too callous and mean-spirited that it will alienate voters, particularly Latino Americans? Since its' such an unknown, Congress seems to prefer posturing rather than doing anything definitive. Yet, their inaction could cost them too.

Instead of working on a compromise bill between the House and Senate bills, Congress wants to have it both ways: look tough without doing anything on larger immigration reform. As evidence of this, on the same day as the immigrant rights rallies, the Senate added $1.8 billion in new spending for border security on top of additional billions already contained in House and Senate fiscal 2007 Homeland Security appropriations bills. CongressDaily reported that "the extra funding, along with some scaled-back policy initiatives aimed at stanching illegal immigration, is designed to placate voters in the absence of a comprehensive immigration overhaul package, which GOP leaders concede will not happen before the elections." The extra funding is contained in the fiscal 2007 Defense bill but some House members think it should be in the Homeland Security appropriations bill so it doesn't divert money from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told the Congressional Daily: "The conversations about the overall bill, the larger bill, are going to continue, but in absence of that there's a lot of things we can do to strengthen our borders and we're going to."...just in case anyone thought they were stalling.

ACTION STEP: Call your Congressional representatives (202.224.3121) and tell them that there are many more people than those who marched last week who care about the rights of immigrants. Tell them that you are a voter and you want leadership in Washington that doesn't scapegoat people and seeks to protect the human rights of ALL people who live in our country.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Frist says reform "next to impossible"

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to the press on Wednesday about the Senate agenda for the remainder of the Congressional session (To watch the briefing yourself on C-SPAN with RealPlayer, click here and then click on the hearing at the top of the page). As expected it was a highly partisan briefing about the fight against terrorism. During the question and answer session, however, Frist answered questions about the possibility of comprehensive reform being passed. He discussed the issue in terms of national security and the need to secure the nation's borders.

Frist also told reporters this week: "I think it would be next to impossible to pass a comprehensive bill that includes dealing with the diversity of 12 million people here in the next three weeks." He did say that he anticipated Congress passing appropriation bills that will include spending to bolster border security.

Reuters News Service reported that Frist's comments drew an angry response from Sen. Edward Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts):" How can Republicans say they are for making America safer when they can't even pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill to protect our borders? They are so divided over immigration that it will take leadership from the president to break the impasse.''

On Thursday, immigrant rights advocates are rallying in Washington, DC in the hopes of dislodging the political logjam that has held up further work on immigration reform. C-SPAN3 will air the rallies live on-line.

ACTION STEP: Call Senator Frist (202.224.3344) and ask him to exert his leadership to move forward immigration reform that recognizes the human rights of all immigrants and their families. Ask him to refrain from using immigration reform and border security as election tactics and to make a concerted effort to understand the complexity of the issue.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Congress back in session: Now what?

Its summer break over, Congress started up again today. After immigrant rights advocates rallied and marched in cities around the country over the Labor Day weekend in the hopes of re-igniting reform, the big question is whether Congress will even bother to revisit the issue.

Some, like the columnist Robert Novak have pointed out that immigration is shockingly absent from recently circulated Republican to-do lists for the fall. The New York Times reported that the majority party on Capitol Hill has "all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength." The newspaper quotes Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee: "I don't see how you bridge that divide between us and the Senate. I don't see it happening. I really don't."

The Congressional Quarterly reports that some lawmakers argue that the House field hearings made the chances of a successful conference more difficult by making a policy debate resemble a political campaign. The news service quotes Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, who participated in several of the summer hearings. "I think these hearings were put up as a way of wasting time, as a way of getting through August and September. I think that is the whole strategy behind this. I believe we are not going to get anything done."

Despite this naysaying, maneuvering is still happening in Washington. The Congressional Quarterly reported that some Senate leaders are seeking the help of President Bush to strike a deal. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), and Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) plan to meet with the President and ask that he call House Republican leadership to the White House and prod them towards a compromise.

But it may just be too late... November elections are only a few weeks away.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Final performances: Dubuque, Iowa and Greeley, Colorado

On Friday, the final House-sponsored hearings were held in Dubuque, Iowa and Greeley, Colorado. As with other hearings, the national media paid little attention but the local newspapers.

In Iowa, the Telegraph Herald reported on the hearing. (To read the article click here and use 'immigration' for the user name and password.) As in hearings past, the public was not invited to participate beyond listening. The Telegraph Herald reported "the audience members thought they would get to register their opinions of what was said, Representative Sensenbrenner laid down the law, reminding them that the meeting would be held under congressional rules. "A hearing is not a cheering contest," he said, bringing the hearing to order after audience partisans reacted to fiery testimony by former Immigration and Naturalization Service special agent Michael Cutler."

The day before the hearing, religious leaders and immigrant rights advocates held a rally called "Bridges Make Better Neighbors" and crossed a bridge across the Mississippi to East Dubuque, Ill., and back.

Apparently the hearing was held in Iowa so that Senator Chuck Grassley could testify. The Senate has not held many immigration hearings at all in comparison to the House. Grassley voted against the Senate bill and he wanted the opportunity to explain why he opposed the bill. There are also two contentious House election races in November in which immigration could be a "hot-button" issue. The race for governor is also highly visible since the current Democratic governor is resigning and the position is up for grabs. For these reasons, Senator Majority leader Bill Frist was also in Dubuque this week to campaign for his party.

Meanwhile in Colorado, 120 people attended a hearing called by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave to discuss the DREAM ACT provisions in the Senate immigration bill. As usual, the panelists were not sympathetic to undocumented students. Kris Kobach, professor of law at the University of Missouri, said such a provision would be "...a slap in the face to Americans who play by the rules and follow the laws." In covering the hearing for the Greeley Tribune, Reporter Millete Birhanemaskel started her article with a question: "What if your future was being debated by strangers, and all you could do was stand idly by and watch? Everything they said directly affected you, but you couldn't say a word. Eighteen-year-old Alex Chadira didn't have to imagine." Wow. A few days later, the editor responded to accusations from readers that the reporting was biased. In his blog, Randy Bangertour said "The reporter decided to show the impact of this public policy decision through the eyes of a student in the audience. To me that isn't taking sides, but it's good reporting."

In sum total, what have the hearings meant to the larger immigration reform debate? In an editorial, the L.A. Times dubbed this summer the "Silly Season" and Congress' series of field hearings that "showcas[ed], in the words of Immigration Reform Caucus member Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) at a Georgia hearing, "witnesses who agree with me, not disagree with me." ' In other words, the hearings were merely a roadshow in the larger electoral campaigns.

Now that House representatives have wrapped up their hearings and finished their summer break, they start work again after Labor Day. But will they get back to the work of working out a compromise between the House and Senate bills? or will they take a second look at the bills after what they've supposedly learned from the public? With the November elections only two months away, it looks doubtful.

ACTION STEP: Write an e-mail to Greeley Tribune editor Randy Bangert ( and reporter Millete Birhanemaskel ( and thank them for their excellent reporting and to keep up the good work.

Friday, September 01, 2006

"The environment for the majority party is extremely bad"

In yesterday's USA Today, the newspaper takes a look at the final nine weeks before the November elections. It looks like there could be big change in store for Capitol Hill. Commentators are predicting that Democrats will win back the majority in the House and they may even win some seats in the Senate, if not the majority there too. The paper quotes political scientist David Rohde of Duke University: "The environment for the majority party is extremely bad."

Interestingly, USA Today cites seven Key issues and trends for midterm elections . Prominently on the list is "Illegal immigration" (as they call it).

"Some conservatives want to seal the U.S.-Mexican border. Others in the GOP and most Democrats want to create citizenship and job opportunities for illegal immigrants. Races where it's an issue:

Arizona: 5th District: Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth vs. Democrat Harry Mitchell

California: 11th District: Republican Rep. Richard Pombo vs. Democrat Jerry McNerney

Colorado: 4th District: Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave vs. Democrat Angie Paccione

South Carolina: 5th District: Democratic Rep. John Spratt vs. Republican Ralph Norman"

This list may be short due to space considerations. Immigration is on the list of key issues in races in several states for many reasons. Timing is one thing: the two houses of Congress took a step back before trying to reconcile their two very different visions of immigration reform. But it is also a political tactic for a desperate party. The evidence?: The recent round of partisan Congressional hearings in key states and the establishment of a GOP "war room" on immigration.

But it may be too soon to see if this "hot button" issue will pan out the way some politicians hope. Neither party is offering much leadership that recognizes the human rights of immigrants and the importance of their contributions. Only time will tell...

ACTION STEP: If you are from one of the states listed above (or from a state where immigration is being used as a electoral tactic), call the candidates and express your disapproval of their use of the issue for political gain. Tell them we need real solutions that respect the human rights of immigrants, the integrity of their families and the value of their contributions to this nation.