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Quigley, Jayapal Introduce Bill to Block Key Component of Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Feb 27, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced the PROTECT Immigration Act to block a key component of President Trump's January 25 executive order on immigration. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is the lead sponsor of the Senate companion bill

“Asking local law enforcement to detain suspected undocumented immigrants is unproductive, unnecessary, and unsafe,” said Rep Quigley. "If we really want to defend our communities, we must allow state and local police to devote their limited resources toward fighting serious crimes. Instead of disrupting community relations and fostering mistrust at the local level, the federal government must meet its responsibility to enforce immigration law and advance comprehensive reform that will benefit every city in our nation.”

“Forcing local law enforcement to round up and detain suspected undocumented immigrants undermines the fundamental trust that must exist between the public and law enforcement to have safe communities,” said Rep. Jayapal. “In order to prevent racial profiling and protect public trust and safety, Congress must stop this Administration’s mass deportation efforts from deputizing local law enforcement to enforce Trump’s immigration policies.”

"Our democracy must not tolerate law enforcement programs, like 287(g), that breed racial profiling and biased policing against any individual - regardless of citizenship or immigration status,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director of the National Immigrant Justice Center. “The Department of Justice has documented the ways in which deputizing local police as immigration agents result in racial profiling and unjust arrests. The PROTECT Immigration Act is urgently needed to protect our communities from the 287(g) program’s assault on our civil liberties."

The legislation would block a vital component of President Trump's executive order on immigration by rescinding the statutory authority for the federal government's 287(g) Program, which allows the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law. It is our belief that enforcement of immigration laws should not be delegated to local and state police for numerous reasons. Not only does this require local law enforcement to divert time and resources away from deterring violent crime, it also drives a wedge between police and the communities they serve.

Section 8 of President Trump's January 25 executive order sought to radically expand the 287(g) Program, requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to attempt to engage in more of these agreements with state and local governments. Before Trump's executive order, the Obama administration had scaled back the program, and there are currently at least 32 law enforcement agencies in 16 states engaged in these agreements.

Co-sponsors of the PROTECT Immigration Act include Reps. Zoe Lofgren, John Conyers, Elijah Cummings, Jan Schakowsky, Darren Soto, James McGovern, Lucille Roybal-Allard, David Cicilline, Gwen Moore, and Luis V. Gutiérrez.  

Tthe PROTECT Immigration Act enjoys strong broad support from various immigration organizations, including African American Ministers In Action (AAMIA), Alianza Americas, Alliance for Citizenship, American Federation of Teachers, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Asian Americans, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, Campaign for Hoosier Families, CASA, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Farmworker Justice, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Inc. (FLIC), Human Rights Watch, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Interfaith Worker Justice, Latino, Commission on AIDS, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Mi Familia Vota, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Law Center, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, New York Immigration Coalition, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates, PFLAG National, Project South, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), Service Employees International Union, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Tahirih Justice Center, Transgender Law Center, and We Belong Together.

Rep. Quigley has been a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform throughout his time in Congress and has pushed Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. More recently, Rep. Quigley introduced the Safeguarding Sanctuary Cities Act to ensure federal funds cannot be unduly withheld from state or local authority that limits or restricts compliance with a voluntary immigration detainer request. He used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to highlight the need for Congress to protect undocumented immigrants from abuse in detention centers, reject unconstitutional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, and end a mandated detention bed quota that wastes millions of dollars annually.