Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AFSC Submits Comments on "No Match" Rule

Last week the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) submitted comments on the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) republished No-Match rule. AFSC strongly opposes DHS' reissuance of the Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter believing that relying on outdated information and a flawed database is a disaster for the nation's workforce.

>Read the National Immigration Law Center's summary of the supplemental proposed rule here.

The use of a flawed database to verify employment serves no one, least of all employers or workers - whether native born or born elsewhere. Indeed, errors and discrepancies have already fostered apprehension and fear among workers, and could lead to racial profiling, worksite or labor rights abuse, summary dismissals and other actions that impinge on the basic civil and labor rights of all workers - regardless of their status in the United States.

>Read more of AFSC's response here.

AFSC Portland and Coloradans for Immigrant Rights Share Local Community Concerns

The daily and ongoing work with community partners, faith-based and, grassroots organizations enables AFSC to continue to learn and more deeply understand the pressing immigration policy issues which generate tension and apprehension in immigrant and refugee communities throughout the nation. For example, the proposed "No Match" ruling has already had grave consequences in several of these communities, including job loss and the ensuing worry of how to make ends meet in an already dismal setting in which undocumented immigrant workers are targeted. Yet, legislative and policy solutions to address this situation have been repeatedly stalled.

AFSC Portland Area Program Office and Coloradans for Immigrant Rights, a partner project of AFSC recently submitted comments providing regional perspectives on the detrimental impact of the proposed rule.

Since the issuance of the proposed rule, AFSC Portland and CFIR have received an increasing number of calls from community members reporting increased fear and confusion as employees and employers struggle to understand the policy.

According to AFSC Portland Office Immigration Specialist, Alice Perry, "Due to the current anti-immigrant climate, many citizens of Latino descent in Oregon have reported racial profiling across a number of areas. Reissuing this rule can only make it worse," she wrote in the public comment submitted to DHS.

AFSC strongly urges DHS to pursue worksite policies, which enable employers to help their workers adjust their immigration status, even as those workers continue to contribute to the nation's economic vitality. Rather than re-craft a failed approach to our nation's immigration issues, AFSC urges the administration to pursue realistic and effective policies which provide a due and fair process for the immigration adjustment of immigrant workers who work and who contribute to the nation's economic and social vitality.