Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Family Reunification Act - Action Alert

Received from the American Immigration Lawyers' Association

As many of you know, the chairman of the House Judiciary committee, Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Rep. Barney Frank have reached an agreement on the language of HR 1452, the Family Unification Act of 2002. This bipartisan bill is scheduled to be marked up by the full Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Wed., July 17) at 10:00.


In order to pass this out of committee, we are asking that each of you contact some of the Republican members of the Judiciary and urge them to support this compromise bill. The proposal is supported by Representatives James Sensenbrenner, former chair Henry Hyde (R-IL), and Chris Cannon (R-UT). Four other Republicans are co-sponsors of the bill - Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL); Doug Ose (CA); and Chris Shays (CT)

Although this bill is far less than what we have been asking for, it's passage would be an IMPORTANT victory in our effort to restore some measure of fairness for long-term legal permanent residents. The modest reforms in this bill would simply allow legal permanent residents who have lived legally in the United States for at least five years, and who are facing deportation for an offense that resulted in a sentence of less than four years (or less than 2 years if the offense is classified as a "crime of violence"), to present the facts of their case to an immigration judge to determine whether or not they should be deported from their adopted country. The bill would send an important signal that our laws can be tough AND fair.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. A list of Republicans on the Judiciary are as follows:

- Steve Chabot (R-OH): 202-225-2216
- Bob Barr (R-GA): 202-225-2931
- Mark Green (R-WI): 202-225-5665
- Melissa Hart (R-PA): 202-225-2565
- Darrel Issa (R-CA): 202-225-3906
- Jeff Flake (R-AZ): 202-225-2635
- Randy Forbes (R-VA): 202-225-6365

Thank you,

Ben Johnson
Associate Director of Advocacy
American Immigration Lawyers Assoc.
(202) 216-2437

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