NDN opposes Shuler bill (H.R. 4088)

NDN has joined many other groups in opposition to H.R. 4088, The Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act (SAVE Act). The SAVE Act was introduced by Representatives Heath Shuler and Tom Tancredo, still surging at 1 percent among GOP primary voters, among others. You can find the summary of it on THOMAS.

The letter to which we signed on is below:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our strong opposition to H.R. 4088. The Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act, introduced by Representatives Heath Shuler and Tom Tancredo, among others, offers a false promise to the American people and will not solve the issue of undocumented immigration.

We demand more from our leaders in Congress than harsh rhetoric and ineffective solutions. Congress needs to fix our immigration system in a smart way, not just throw more money at the problem. For the past twenty years, the Federal government has dramatically increased immigration enforcement and yet, enforcement-alone has not worked to stem undocumented immigration. There are now more than 12 million undocumented immigrants living and working in this country. They are here because our economy is beckoning them and because we do not have a channel for hard-working people to come here legally. Yet, the Shuler-Tancredo bill does nothing to address that, nor the devastation that this broken system creates: exploited workers, thousands of deaths in the desert, and over three million U.S. citizen children living in constant fear that their parents will be deported.

These problems exist because Congress has ignored reality and failed to update our immigration laws. Unfortunately, H.R. 4088 is not a solution or even a stop-gap measure. If enacted, it would simply make a bad situation worse, providing a windfall to bad employers by making workers more exploitable, pushing them deeper underground and off the tax rolls. It would harm U.S. workers displaced by the flawed employment verification program, and waste even more U.S. tax dollars trying to detain and deport peaceful workers instead of focusing in on those who mean us harm.

H.R. 4088 is a misguided political response to a policy problem where voters already have spoken. The vast majority of Americans think that rounding up and deporting 12 million undocumented immigrants is a fantasy and a waste of federal dollars. Furthermore, Americans do not want to wait an estimated 91 years and spend the projected $200 billion it would take, to round undocumented immigrants who are mostly hard-working people. They want real solutions. H.R. 4088 is not only about preserving the failed status quo on immigration, but about intensifying its negative effects. We urge Congressional leaders from both parties to get to work and pass the type of immigration reform legislation that addresses the issue at its root, not ineffective laws that waste resources and offer false promises to the American people.

For more on NDN's efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, visit our website.