The letter submitted by the 286 organizations representing numerous constituencies said they expect a number of anti-immigrant amendments in addition to the continued effort to indefinitely continue Stephen Miller’s debunked, unscientific anti-asylum Title 42 order. They urged senators to reject amendments that “end asylum at the border,” “harm immigrants’ health, economic well-being, or education,” and “further bloat enforcement or militarize the border.”
“Precluding otherwise eligible families from accessing critical health programs, using economic supports, or pursuing their educational and employment goals undermines the healthcare goals of the bill and would harm entire communities and the broader economy,” the letter states. “This includes applying any double standards to immigrants during the pandemic when it comes to vaccination requirements or access to public health measures.”
“The Biden administration has taken some small steps toward shrinking the machinery of civil immigration detention, cutting funding for 9,000 detention beds in its proposed budget,” Vera Institute of Justice said in July. But the groups fear anti-immigrant senators may introduce amendments unnecessarily increasing enforcement and detention, “as well as any punishment for states and localities who choose to prioritize public safety by separating local government institutions, including law enforcement, from federal immigration enforcement.”
“We urge you to vote in ways that protect immigrants and VOTE NO against any anti-immigrant amendments presented for this bill,” groups conclude, warning that hateful amendments to the overall package “will likely bring forth challenges to the passage of this important legislation.”
There’s serious reason to worry about the passage of anti-immigrant amendments. The House Appropriations Committee recently passed a GOP-led amendment that would continue Miller’s order. Republican Dan Newhouse’s anti-asylum amendment passed the committee via voice vote, putting no one on the record. More than 200 organizations subsequently urged House leaders to ensure these anti-asylum amendments don’t get a floor vote. Five Senate Democrats this past spring said they’d support an amendment to continue Miller’s order.