As the United States Senate is reviewing a new southern bill, several bodies have a lot to say about it. The country’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, UnidosUS, is not happy with the probability of them passing it. According to the group, it is an “alarming” response to the ongoing immigration crisis.
On February 4th, they introduced the 370-page bill to the public. To many, this is the most comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. in about four decades. It includes total emergency power to the federal government to deter migrants in large numbers. In addition, there are a multitude of changes for those legally seeking asylum.
It also provides $14 billion and $60 billion in aid to Israel and Ukraine, respectively. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson is not happy with this bill. He said it was “worse” than House Republicans expected, and it is clear that he does not support it.
Many other Republicans have expressed their disapproval of this bill as well. The CEO of UnidosUS, Janet Murguía, also expressed her “deep disappointment” with the Biden administration for this bill. To her, the bill lacks any significant resolution to the long-term status of undocumented immigrants—notably those from Latino communities.
“It is insulting and outrageous that our Latino leaders, who represent the communities most impacted by this proposal, were not included in these negotiations,” Murguía said. “This deal is an alarming sign that we are headed in the wrong direction on immigration policy.
“The only workable solution is a broad plan that deals with all aspects of our outdated immigration system—including a functioning asylum process as part of a safe, secure border; legal status for long-term residents, including DREAMers; and prioritizing the ability of future workers to enter legally to fulfill the needs of our economy.”
The senior director of legislative affairs at UnidosUS also told Newsweek on its stance. She said that the organization is “taking a thoughtful and strong position” against the Senate bill because of the impact on Latino communities.
“An enforcement-only solution would likely not help make the border more orderly or secure, as the [bill] authors hope,” Collins said. “It will force desperate migrants into the arms of smugglers and to take more dangerous routes to reach the U.S.
“In our view, the bill limits access to asylum so much that we think it will result in legitimate asylum seekers being sent back to the threats that made them leave home in the first place.”
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, another Latino nonprofit based in El Paso, Texas, also expressed resentment toward the legislation, claiming it “bundles one-time aid for foreign wars with anti-immigrant provisions that would gut the asylum system and create long-standing harm across border communities.”
Marisa Limón Garza, executive director of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, also protested against this bill. She said, “We need long-term and sustainable solutions, including pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients, their loved ones, and immigrant families.
We urge Congress and the Biden Administration to reject this mistaken approach and use this opportunity to uplift their promise to restore humanity to our asylum system instead.” Since its announcement, this bill has faced opposition from several senators, bodies, and agencies.
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