Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will begin markup of four harmful immigration reform bills. Included in the markup are H.R. 1148, The Michael Davis, Jr. in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 1153 the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2015, and H.R. 1149 the Protection of Children Act of 2015.
H.R. 1148, which is similar to the SAFE Act introduced last session, unwisely delegates the enforcement of our national immigration laws to state and local law enforcement agencies despite demonstrated instances of profiling and subsequent weakening of community safety. Both the Protection of Children Act (H.R. 1149) and the Asylum Reform and the Border Protection Act (H.R. 1153) amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) so that unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the U.S. from violence in the Northern Triangle can be deported easily and quickly by the U.S. government. These bills undermine laws designed to identify and prevent human trafficking and send children fleeing widespread gang violence back to countries where they face very real risks of physical and sexual violence, and even death.
These harmful bills were introduced in response to the President’s Executive Action on immigration. Should they pass out of committee, they may proceed to the House floor for a full vote. At this time, it is unclear whether the Senate will consider these or similar pieces of legislation. HIAS submitted written testimony on the harmful consequences of these bills, which can be found here.
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and National Interest is also holding an immigration hearing tomorrow entitled “Oversight on USCIS: Ensuring Agency Priorities Comply with the Law.”