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via @CAMBIOToday: Core Principles Defended in #CIRMarkup but Challenges Remain

May 21, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 8.03.26 AMPDTSenate Committee is Expected to Finish by Week’s End

PRESS CONTACT Crystal Plati 202-369-5334

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2013 – CAMBIO, the Campaign for an Accountable, Moral, and Balanced Immigration Overhaul, released a  statement this afternoon as the Senate Judiciary Committee continues  to work through amendments to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, this week:

Laura Murphy, Director of the Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union
“Today’s markup session was proof positive that the tide is turning away from anti-immigrant sentiment and toward a future where we recognize the contributions of all who live in this great nation.  We remain optimistic that the spirit of compromise shown by the ‘Gang of Eight’ will hold strong and that the bill’s civil liberties protections will be strengthened in markup the rest of the week.”

Margaret Huang, Executive Director, Rights Working Group
“We are pleased that S. 744 includes language prohibiting racial profiling, because there have been numerous allegations of racial and religious profiling raised in the context of immigration enforcement and border security.  Today, CAMBIO was happy to see Grassley Amendment 49 defeated as it would have allowed for profiling on the basis of national origin.  Law enforcement agencies and human rights advocates agree that racial profiling is an ineffective tool, and Senator Grassley’s amendment would have allowed this profiling to take place.  We hope that the Judiciary Committee members will continue to oppose amendments that would allow profiling, including Senator Graham’s Amendment 3 which would allow the Department of Homeland Security to discriminate against aspiring citizens based on national origin.  We expect that vote later tonight and we call on all Senators to vote against it.”

Paromita Shah, Associate Director of the National Immigration Project, National Lawyers Guild
“We commend the Senate Judiciary Committee for defeating many pernicious amendments today that criminalize immigrants and attack fundamental due process protections.  But the Committee, by a near unanimous vote, also passed an expansion of aggravated felony offenses – charges that are often neither aggravated nor felonies but keep individuals from having their cases considered and heard before a judge.  This rolls back critical due process safeguards and is contradictory to fundamental American values.  We cannot and will not support hard line proposals that take away discretion and limit an individual’s ability to pursue the pathway to citizenship.  It is critical that the Committee and the full Senate protect due process in the immigration bill as it is the cornerstone of the American justice system.”

Andrea Black, Executive Director, Detention Watch Network
“CAMBIO applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee for standing up for the rights of immigrants held in jails across the United States.  Committee members voted against attempts by Senators Grassley and Sessions to strip critical provisions of the bill that will reduce the suffering of immigrants in detention and lower costs to taxpayers.  CAMBIO further commends Senator Blumenthal for his successful effort to limit the use of solitary confinement in detention.”

CAMBIO is a diverse group of organizations advocating for laws and policies that create a fair system for immigrants to become citizens; bans indefinite detention; guarantees due process for everyone in the United States; makes enforcement systems accountable; protects civil and human rights; encourages a better border to protect the quality of life in the borderlands, prevents the abuse of vulnerable Americans; and keeps families together.  CAMBIO’s members include American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights, the Border Network for Human Rights, Detention Watch Network, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Guestworker Alliance, the National Immigration Law Center, Rights Working Group, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Immigrant Justice Network, and Northern Borders Coalition.

More information about CAMBIO can be found on the web at and on Twitter @CAMBIOtoday.

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