Civil Rights Coalition Pushes for Real Immigration Reform

Media 05.25.06

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s largest civil and human rights coalition, released the following statement on the Senate passage of S.2611.

“The Senate today passed an immigration bill that takes the first step toward comprehensive reform but still poses serious threats to civil rights and American freedoms. Though the Senate bill does set out a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who now make significant contributions to our society, it is a convoluted road littered with problems.

Neither the House nor the Senate bill provides adequate response to the nation’s immigration problem. While the Senate bill is far better and more comprehensive than the House proposal, both bills would:

  • Overturn Supreme Court decisions that prohibit the indefinite detention of immigrants;

  • Expand government authority to remove immigrants – even asylum seekers – without judicial process;

  • Make minor offenses “aggravated felonies,” automatically triggering mandatory detention and deportation proceedings;

  • Require local police to enforce complicated laws that not only siphon away resources for community policing efforts dealing with real and violent crime, but also undermine law and order itself with a proliferation of arbitrary and contradictory enforcement; and

  • Fail to adequately protect immigrants or citizens under our nation’s labor laws.

Unless these formidable and very troubling concerns are addressed in the House-Senate conference, the civil rights community has little choice but to oppose legislation that — despite its accomplishments – will potentially damage the very spirit of American democracy.”