Senate Immigration Amendment’s Gang Provisions Enforce Guilt by Association and Not Conviction


Source: Huffington Post Politics Blog – Angie Junck

This week the Senate will choose to either perpetuate the harsh and ineffective policies of current immigration law, or take important steps forward to ensure that the millions of undocumented individuals and green card holders have a fair chance to get on the pathway to citizenship. As it stands today, the bill and proposed amendments fall short of ensuring a fair and inclusive path forward. The current bill imposes extreme limitations, which will result in keeping thousands, if not millions from coming out of the shadows. The bill continues to criminalize immigrants by targeting specific groups for deportation; one such group includes alleged members of a gang. Targeting gang members sounds like a sensible enforcement focus, but the Senate bill’s provisions are crafted so broadly that they target even those who have never been gang members, have never been convicted of a crime, or left gangs years ago and have long since rehabilitated. Moreover, an amendment to the current reform bill, introduced by Sen. Grassley, makes this harsh provision far worse by making it very easy to be labeled a gang member …read more

The Immigrant Justice Network is a leading advocacy voice against the criminalization of immigrants in the United States. Grounded in racial justice values, we build power to defend the dignity of all immigrants.