The hardline Goodlatte bill and the Ryan bill are dead. The House may make one more partisan attempt at an immigration bill that would replace family separation with indefinite family detention. Tell your House reps: we reject all partisan immigration bills!
Update 6/27: The Ryan bill is dead! Keep up the pressure to make sure that the House last-ditch narrow plan doesn’t see the light of day.
Following the close failure of a strong bipartisan effort in the House to upend the immigration debate last week, Speaker Paul Ryan scheduled votes on two partisan immigration bills: the hardline Goodlatte bill, and another currently dubbed as “the Ryan bill” crafted by White House staffers, Republican leaders, and moderates. The Goodlatte bill was swiftly defeated, but now rumors are circulating of a third bill crafted by House Republicans, aimed at narrowly addressing public outrage over family separations at the Southern border. Not wanting to harm his bill’s chances, Paul Ryan is refusing to discuss what might be contained in the narrow bill, and instead scheduled his bill for a vote on WEDNESDAY. Because both bills were crafted behind closed doors and without input from Democrats, their cynical intent to rally support or quell criticism from the Republican base in an election year is clear. Here is what we know:
THE RYAN BILL
- DACA The bill provides special legal status for qualifying DACA recipients, but a path to citizenship is tied to funding for a border wall as well as implementation of a convoluted and untested point system.
- Children While the bill would allow children who are caught crossing the border illegally with their parents to remain together in detention longer, the administration’s zero tolerance policy would still result in children being taken from their parents when they are prosecuted, as they are now. The change also effectively makes it legal for the government to hold children in detention indefinitely, and eliminates special protections for them. The bill would also prohibit any government funding for counsel for children- leaving many small children without a voice in the courtroom.
- The Wall The bill puts $25 billion toward Trump’s wall along the southern border. If these funds are used for any other reason, DACA recipients lose their path to citizenship.
- Asylum The bill would make it harder for asylum claims to be approved and easier for agents to send asylum seekers back to the most dangerous places on earth.
- ICE Requires local governments to implement ICE detainers, despite the practice raising numerous constitutional concerns.
- Border Patrol the bill includes a 30% increase in border patrol officers.
- Family Migration Eliminates green card programs for married children of U.S. citizens and siblings of adult U.S. citizens, transferring those 88,400 green cards to a new “merit-based” program. Many have been waiting in line for those green cards for decades.
- Diversity Visa Lottery Eliminated, putting the 55,000 visas toward the merit-based program.
THE FAMILY SEPARATION BILL
Republicans aren’t discussing what might be in this bill, but it is likely to attempt to make changes that will allow the government to avoid child protection rules laid out in the Flores Settlement, meaning that children could be indefinitely detained along with their parents in facilities that are not licensed to hold children, like the internment camps the administration is currently seeking to build to detain thousands of immigrants on military bases.
Call your reps, and tell them to stop holding children hostage to partisan politics. Tell them you want them to oppose both House immigration bills, and that you only want to see bipartisan efforts brought to the floor.