House and Senate Border and Immigration Bills

July 31, 2014

The House and Senate are considering bills today that address the funding of this country's response to children arriving at our border and the protections given to them as they seek humanitarian protection in court. In addition the House is considering a bill that would limit the administrations ability to extend deferred action from deportation to a larger group of persons. Please read below about each of these proposals and discern your response and call today.

  • Support adequate funding of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and keeping the protections afforded to children under the Trafficking Victims Protections Act (TVPRA).
  • Oppose limiting the Administration’s power to extend deferred action from deportation to a wider group of migrants.

These bills will be considered today.

Please Call Today!

Border (ORR funding and TVPRA)

The Senate and the House have proposed supplemental funding bills that would fund the response to the increase in arrivals of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Both of these bills include requests that make it impossible for this denomination to endorse them but that does not keep us from having a voice on this issue.

The Senate bill, S. 2648 provides adequate funding to serve the children and fully replenishes the $94 million of refugee social services funding that was recently reprogrammed. Further, this bill leaves the TVPRA intact so that children may remain in the US to make any humanitarian claims they may have. Unfortunately, the amended version of this bill also funds Israel’s iron dome. It is General Assembly policy that the denomination only supports peaceful measures in the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The House bill includes the ill-labeled "HUMANE" Act, which would eliminate vital protections given to unaccompanied children in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). Changes to the TVPRA would mean that children would not have a meaningful opportunity to have their story heard, apply for asylum, or be cared for by child welfare personnel, and would be deported to life-threatening situations.

As our leaders have provided us with two bills - one that cannot be endorsed fully and another that should be opposed, we are endorsing neither.  Rather, we place our hope in things yet unseen and ask for an increase in ORR funding that is adequate to fund the refugee resettlement program AND provide care for unaccompanied children. We further oppose any changes to the protections given to children by the TVPRA.

Immigration Bill  (Proposal to limit deferred action)

The House is also planning a vote on a bill that is aimed to limit the President’s ability to expand deferred action from deportation to more individuals.

We oppose any measure that would limit this or any future administration from extending deferred action from deportation to a larger group of individuals.

  1. I believe the church should stay out of the politics of immigration law.

    by Keith Spain

    August 22, 2014

  2. I don't agree that attaching funding to assist Israel's right to defend itself to the bill is a reason to not support it. Iron Dome is a defensive measure not an aggressive one.

    by Kevin Pulford

    August 1, 2014

  3. I also believe that the women and children refugees being held at the Artesia facility in New Mexico need full protection from deportation (where they would likely be killed by gangs) and better access to pro bono counseling.

    by Susan French

    July 31, 2014

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