ACTION ALERT: Calls Needed to Protect Refugees and Asylees in S. 744

Many of you have been closely following the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up of the bipartisan immigration bill, S. 744. On Monday at 10am, the committee will begin considering amendments relating to refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable populations – please join HIAS and our partners as we urge the Senators to keep these important provisions in the bill. Take a moment today and Monday to call 1-866-940-2439, where you will be connected to the office of one of the Senate Judiciary Committee members. Please use this sample script (and leave a message if needed):

“I am calling today to ask the Senator to oppose all amendments that would stop or delay needed reforms to improve the lives of asylum seekers, refugees, and U.S. communities that welcome them. I ask that the Senator oppose Grassley #25, #26, #27, and #52 and Graham #1.”

See below for detailed descriptions of the refugee and asylum provisions and click here to read letters from hundreds of faith, human-rights, and humanitarian leaders sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to harmful, anti-refugee and anti-asylum amendments, and in support of the positive refugee provisions in the bill.

  • OPPOSE GRASSLEY AMENDMENTS #25, #26, #27, and #52: These amendments would strike most of the positive refugee and asylum provisions from the base bill, including provisions that would improve access to life-saving protection to religious minorities in Iran and other vulnerable populations, stateless persons, and asylum seekers. Grassley #52 in particular would delay positive changes to the asylum and student visa provisions in the bill by falsely conflating them with the Boston Marathon bombings.

  • OPPOSE GRAHAM AMENDMENT #1: This amendment would terminate protection for refugees and asylees if they return to their home country if they do not obtain a waiver from the Secretary of Homeland Security. People risk their lives to return to see a dying loved one or advance human rights in their country of origin.

*Please note that you will probably not be connected with your own Senator’s office through this number, unless they are a specific Judiciary Committee member. Judiciary members know they are responsible to all of us as they consider amendments, so this is the best way to raise our voices at this moment. Feel free to call this number multiple times to connect with all priority members. To call certain Senators directly, click here for the full committee list.