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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oregon's Immigrant Rights Organization Denounces House Judiciary “SAFE” Act that would Criminalize Immigrants, Take AZ Law Nationwide

Oregon's Immigrant Rights Organization Denounces House Judiciary “SAFE” Act that would Criminalize Immigrants, Take AZ Law Nationwide

Causa asks Congressman Walden to Reject Extreme Enforcement Bill and Support Path to Earned Citizenship

Salem, OR  — This week, the Republican-led Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives passed an immigration bill inappropriately named the “SAFE Act,” that would make the presence of immigrants in the United States without proper documentation a federal crime and empower states and counties around the country to turn their police into immigration agents.  

As the Senate prepares to vote on legislation in the coming week that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, the House bipartisan group is putting the finishing touches on its own bill that also includes a roadmap to citizenship. Despite the bipartisan approach in both chambers of Congress to include a pathway to citizenship, immigrant and community leaders are outraged that the House Judiciary Committee is acting alone and advancing legislation that would criminalize immigrant communities. 

“It’s as though Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee have forgotten every lesson from the November election when the American people—and especially Latino voters—made clear that immigration reform was the way forward," said Luis Guerra, Executive Director of Causa Oregon. “I certainly hope that Congressman Greg Walden will reject these political games and support the movement of a bipartisan solution that will fix our immigration system once and for all.”

This House bill is a reprisal of the notorious Sensenbrenner bill which passed the House in 2005, and motivated millions of immigrants and their allies to take to the streets in peaceful protest. It also applies the tenets of Arizona's "show me your papers" law nationwide. It is the exact opposite of the thoughtful, fair, and comprehensive immigration solution most Americans want.    

According to a recent a bipartisan poll taken in 29 states, 72 percent of likely voters support immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.  Support from Latino voters is even greater. A recent poll from Latino Decisions found that 84 percent of Latino voters support the bipartisan Senate plan, which includes a path to citizenship.

Guerra added, “We know that in Oregon, there is broad support for immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Plus, it’s the right thing to do for our economy and for immigrant families across our state. We understand that the House needs to have its own process on immigration, but the House Judiciary bill is unacceptable. We will not stop fighting until legislation that criminalizes our communities is defeated and both houses of Congress pass a common-sense solution with a clear path to citizenship.”


Causa, Oregon's Statewide Immigrant Rights Organization is largest Latina and Latino civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit 


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