AAI Statement Opposing Immigration Enforcement Bill H.R. 2278, The SAFE Act

Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Blog

The SAFE Act, passed in the Judiciary Committee yesterday, is a misguided bill with a single-minded focus on immigration enforcement that will increase detentions and deportations and will create an environment of rampant racial profiling without addressing the fundamental flaws of our broken immigration system.

The bill was introduced in June 2013 by the Chair of the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), with the support of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). 

The Arab American Institute applauds the efforts of the Members of Congress who have been working tirelessly to...

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Politics Over Policy in DHS Appropriations Bill

Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Blog
By Isaac Levey Legal Fellow Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2217, the yearly appropriations bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security. The bill passed 245-182, with the voting almost entirely along party lines. We were closely watching four amendments as the bill was on the floor. We were disappointed, although perhaps not surprised, that the majority made the wrong decision on all of them.
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Ask Your Representatives to Vote Against Profiling

Posted by on June 05, 2013 in Blog
Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the appropriations bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2014. The bill contains a provision allocating $44 million for a discredited program known as 287(g) that allows local law enforcement to effectively function as immigration officers. Three representatives, Democrats Jared Polis (pictured left) of Colorado and Judy Chu and Tony Cardenas, both of California, have offered an amendment that would remove funding for 287(g) from the appropriations bill.
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The End of a “Countdown” Era

Posted on June 04, 2013 in Countdown
You probably guessed by the title of this “Countdown” item that we’re not exactly heartbroken our favorite conspiracy theorist and five-term member of Congress, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann, isn’t running for office next year. That’s right, in a video address last week Bachmann announced that she is not seeking a sixth term in Congress.
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Profiling is Profiling

Posted on May 28, 2013 in Countdown
Well, Lindsey Graham has really done it this time. Senator Graham (R-SC), a “Countdown” favorite (in the ironic sense) has succeeded in not only thwarting important efforts to prevent profiling in all its forms from the nation’s forthcoming comprehensive immigration bill, he’s effectively trying to reinstate National Security Entry-Exit System or NSEERS.
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Sen. Graham Immigration Amendment Gives Green Light to Profiling

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog
Last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct “additional security screening” on applicants for legal residency if they are or were previously a “citizen or long-term resident of any such country or region.” The countries in question are those that “pose national security threats” to the US, but Graham’s amendments fails to specify those nations.
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Sen. Graham Immigration Amendment Gives Green Light to Profiling

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog
Last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct “additional security screening” on applicants for legal residency if they are or were previously a “citizen or long-term resident of any such country or region.” The countries in question are those that “pose national security threats” to the US, but Graham’s amendments fails to specify those nations.
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A Special Take Action Edition

Posted on May 14, 2013 in Countdown
The Arab American Institute is collecting stories of American citizens who have been harassed, detained, or deported when attempting to enter Israel or Palestine. If you've personally been targeted by Israeli authorities in such an incident, fill out our Israel Border Harassment Reporting Form. All personal information will be kept private and stories will not be distributed without your expressed permission. As we make the case for why we should not reward Israel with visa waivers, we need to hear from you about personal accounts of Americans who have been unjustly denied entry based solely on their ethnicity, religion, political activism. We have a duty to educate our members of Congress, and let them know about the injustices at the border.
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TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Profiling

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Blog
The Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill (S.744) is currently in markup. Since the beginning of the national push for comprehensive immigration reform, we, along with our friends in Washington, have been working hard to make sure that any legislation includes provisions to protect Arab Americans and other communities impacted by racial profiling. As currently written, S. 744 addresses profiling based on race or ethnicity, but it also has two major problems:
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AAI Submits Statement to House Hearing on Boston Bombing

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Blog

The Arab American Institute submitted the following statement from Executive Director Maya Berry to the first House Homeland Security Committee hearing on last month’s bombings in Boston. Immediately after the attacks, false information about the motives, origins, and perpetrators of the attacks were widely disseminated by members of the media, elected officials and members of the intelligence community to an anxious American public. Predictably, and without any knowledge of the facts, proponents of increased surveillance and ethnic and religious profiling - practices which target the Arab American and American Muslim communities - used Boston to make the...

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