Wednesday, June 19, 2013

U.S. House of Representatives' Committee Attempts to Criminalize Being Undocumented

The Diversity of the U.S. Baha'i Community of New Orleans

~Madison Reed  
The United States will go to the center of hell very quickly if the kind of homophobic, racist mentality driving the cruel anti-immigrant frenzy responsible for the SAFE Act and the exclusion of same-sex binational couples from protection under the upcoming new immigration law ever manages to gain enough power.

Liberal immigration built the strength, success and wealth of the United States.  Even though it may not seem that this could be true, a result of our profound blessing of immigration is that what could have been a far worse future for the United States and the rest of mankind; greater and more prolonged wars, more holocausts, more dictatorships, greater poverty and famine, less progress in science, and far less freedom for the individual, has been averted.

People who were previously separated and powerless were brought together and given a new level of freedom and realistic hope that there was no end to what they could do.  Together we became a huge salmagundi of races, ethnicities, cultural traditions and religions.  And we and the new arrivals continue on this long journey of transformation together, as one diverse family and nation under one Constitution, whose loyalty and vision goes beyond just our love of the United States of America, but to the entire world. 

We are Americans, but we are also citizens of the Earth.  Those who call this kind of a diversity embracing, world embracing vision for the United States evil, or say that it is destroying the fabric of American society, were probably born and raised lost.  I'm not sure where they're heading, but it sure isn't where we're going.

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U.S. House Panel Approves SAFE Act Which Makes Staying in the U.S. Unlawfully, a Federal Crime 

by Sreeja VN

A Republican-led House Judiciary Committee panel late on Tuesday night approved its first immigration bill, which seeks to make illegal immigration to the U.S. a federal crime, even as lawmakers in the Senate are debating the “Gang of Eight’s” comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The panel, after a day-long-markup, approved the SAFE Act, or H.R.2278 proposed by U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), in a 20-15 vote around 11 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

“The SAFE Act maintains the integrity of our immigration system by granting states and local governments the authority to enforce federal immigration laws,” Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a statement after the vote, The Hill reported. “The bill also strengthens national security and protects our communities from those who wish to cause us harm.”

The interior enforcement amendment bill, as the SAFE Act is also known, would allow state and local officials to enforce federal immigration laws, and provide grant funding to carry out the task. The legislation also would make illegal immigration to the country a federal crime instead of a civil offence, and punish states that have local laws to prevent authorities from enforcing the federal immigration law, by making them ineligible for grants and other funding.

“We have, and will continue, to take a step by step approach to immigration reform, thoroughly examining each piece in detail and working to find consensus on the other issues we need to fix,” Goodlatte said, according to The Hill report.

However, Democrats on the panel attacked the bill saying it would criminalize the immigrants and will lead to “widespread racial profiling.”

Gowdy’s bill “takes us back in time to an approach that has long been rejected by the American people,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), told The Hill. Lofgren, who has been negotiating the bipartisan immigration bill added that the SAFE Act's passing is disappointing as it comes at a time when "solid progress" is being made in solving the immigration problem in a bipartisan manner.

Immigration activists also have dismissed the SAFE Act, which is tougher on immigrants than the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill currently being debated in the Senate.

The bipartisan bill, which has been proposed by eight lawmakers, four each from the Democrat and Republican parties who have come to be known as the "Gang of Eight," would help an estimated 8 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. to get legal status.

The bill is also expected to reduce the federal budget deficit and lead to a net savings of $175 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan agency that provides economic data to Congress.

 Source: International Business Times (


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