Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It Only Takes a Minute - Call Your Senators

This week Senators will be voting on amendments to the immigration bill (S. 1348) this, workign toward final action as early as the end of this week or early next week.

The Senate plans to vote on the following amendments TODAY.

Call your Senators to urge them to

1. SUPPORT Amendment #1194 (the Menendez-Hagel amendment) to save families from unnecessary separation. Keep already-filed family reunification applications from being tossed out!

What is the Menendez-Hagel Amendment? Currently, the Senate immigration bill would throw out all family reunification applications filed after May 1, 2005 in order to clear up the backlog. While we all want to decrease the backlog, throwing out applications that have already been filed and paid for is not the solution.

Amendment #1194 would change the May 1, 2005, cut off date to January 1, 2007, thus saving thousands of families from unnecessary separation.

2. OPPOSE Amendment #1184 (the Cornyn amendment), which effectively eliminates any chance for earned legalization for millions of immigrants; allow secret, unchecked evidence to be used to deny citizenship, and subject millions to mandatory detention and mass deportation.

>For more information from the Rights Working Group on the Cornyn amendment click here.


Please continue to make those calls and send e-mails! >To send an e-mail click here.

So that you are well-prepared, please review Step 2 before your place your call!

Step 1: Please take five minutes to call your Senators NOW so they know your views before they vote.

Call using the Capitol Switchboard (202)-224-3121 and follow the instructions to connect to the offices of your Senators.

Step 2: Talking Points

(1) State your name and where you are from to establish that you are a constituent. If you have an established relationship with the office (district or DC) you should mention it briefly.

(2) Clearly state your position and refer to the amendment number.

I am calling to ask the Senator to

SUPPORT the Menendez Amendment SA 1194 to the immigration bill

OPPOSE the Cornyn Amendment SA 1184 to the immigration bill

(3) Briefly Share Your Story: Would you or your family member be affected by the May 2005 backlog cut off date? Briefly (a minute or less) present how this amendment affects you.

(4) Request a response. For example, "Could someone call or e-mail me to let me know how the Senator voted on these amendments?"

Is this your first time calling Congress? Here are some tips

Speak from your own voice. Do not read directly from the talking points.

Do not try to get the legislator on the phone. If the legislative assistant is not available graciously allow the receptionist to take your comment.

Keep your phone call brief and always be courteous.

Why should you call today?

Phone calls are critical today because amendments are in the process of being debated and voted on.

You play an important role in this process because you have opportunity to influence your Senator's vote with your local perspectives.

When a Senator receives large amount of phone calls before a vote that person knows that the people in their home state are paying close attention and that he or she should carefully consider the vote.

Thank you!