Thursday, July 9, 2009

Senate vote taking place now

This just in from the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition:

Senate Amendment Fight

Two amendments passed earlier in the day yesterday:

1. Sessions Amendment 1371 making E-verify permanent and requiring its use by federal contractors and subcontractors. Both Senator Specter and Senator Casey voted for a motion to table the amendment (against the amendment). Once the motion to table failed, the amendment was accepted by voice vote.

  1. DeMint 1399 expanding the wall and adding a deadline for completion. Senator Specter voted for the amendment, Senator Casey voted against it.

Today, amendment voting is expected to begin at shortly after 11:00 am

  • Vitter Amendment 1375 prohibiting the administration from changing the no-match and e-verify regulations. This is an attempt to override the Obama administration’s announcement about ending the no-match program.

  • Grassley Amendment 1415 requiring all employers to re-verify current employees through e-verify, not just new hires. Currently, they are prohibited by law from doing this. Given the high error rates of the e-verify system, employees that have worked for a company for years could have erroneous non-confirmations in the system. Additionally, many individuals may not have the Photo ID that is required under the system.

Take action: Call Sen. Specter at 202-224-4254

Call Sen. Casey at 202-224-6324

To oppose the Vitter Amendement (#1375) overriding President Obama's decision to rescind the flawed Bush administration SSA No Match rule.

To oppose the Grassley amendment (#1415) which jeopardizes U.S. workers and could shut millions of U.S. citizen and lawful immigrant workers out of jobs.

To support having a real debate about immigration issues and only way for that to happen is by starting comprehensive immigration reform this year, not hurting U.S. workers.

Thank Sen. Casey for his vote against the DeMint Amendment (#1399) yesterday.

More details on SSA No-Match and E-Verify Policy Decisions -

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the administration’s intention to rescind the Social Security Administration's (SSA) No-Match rule, issued under the Bush administration. The rule had never been implemented due to a lawsuit; the system was not set up to verify employment eligibility and would have caused the termination of countless thousands of American citizens and work-authorized immigrants.

Instead, they are supporting a regulation for E-verify for federal contractors and subcontractors, to go into effect September 8, 2009. This policy decision was originally made under the Bush administration and has been delayed several times, under the Bush administration and again under the Obama administration. Numerous concerns remain about the quality of data used for employment verification under these systems. From the DHS statement, “The federal contractor rule extends use of the E-Verify system to covered federal contractors and subcontractors, including those who receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. After a careful review, the Administration will push ahead with full implementation of the rule, which will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards Government-wide starting on September 8, 2009.”

The full Department of Homeland Security statement on these policy points is available at:

Great information about these programs and the numerous problems with them is available from the National Immigration Law Center at the following links.

"Facts about E-Verify:

Basic Pilot/E-Verify: Why Mandatory Employment Verification will Hurt Workers, Businesses, and the Struggling U.S. Economy:

Facts about Social Security "No Match" Letter:

Health Care Alert from NILC

Health Care Reform Update:
Tell Congress This Week to Include in Health Care Reform the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2009
(H.R. 3090)
On June 26, 2009, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2009 (H.R. 3090) on behalf of the Tri-Caucus which also includes the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). H.R. 3090 focuses on addressing health disparities in coverage and access and aims to create an equitable health care system that works for everyone in the U.S.
The House will be reviewing H.R. 3090 this week. Because the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2009 (H.R. 3090) addresses many of the barriers faced by low-income immigrants in seeking health care (see below) which have not yet been addressed by any of the other current health care reform legislation, Congress must include H.R. 3090 as part of health care reform to address the inequities of our health care system and to achieve real reform.
Please contact the Members in the House listed below IMMEDIATELY to let them know you support H.R. 3090 and that it must be included in any comprehensive, health care reform legislation.
Suggested Message:
"[My organization and state] supports H.R. 3090 which provides equity in coverage and access in the health care system that is needed for real health care reform. We urge you to include H.R. 3090 in any final health care reform legislation that Congress passes this year."
Key Provisions of the Act that will address the needs of low-income immigrants include:
Restoring Medicaid and CHIP to otherwise eligible, lawfully present immigrants without a waiting period and sponsor-related barriers;
Ensuring that otherwise eligible, lawfully present immigrants can buy into Medicare and can qualify for the Medicare Savings Programs (administered under Medicaid);
Ensuring that ALL children, regardless of status, can receive Medicaid or CHIP (if otherwise eligible);
Ensuring that ALL pregnant women, regardless of status, can receive affordable prenatal care for a healthy pregnancy through Medicaid or CHIP (if otherwise eligible);
Ensuring that lawfully present immigrants have access to nutrition assistance;
Improving federal investment and standards for cultural competency and language access for providers and public health programs;Requiring more comprehensive collection of data on race, ethnicity, and language in all federal health programs as a strategy for addressing health disparities.

H.R. 3090 is available at

Please immediately contact the following members of leadership in the House of Representatives and Chairs of the three key House health reform committees by email or phone at 866-210-3678:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-0100;

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: (202) 225-3130;

Representative Henry Waxman, Chair of House Energy and Commerce Committee: (202) 225-3976; E&C Committee: (202) 225-2927
Representative Charles Rangel, Chair of House Ways and Means Committee: (202) 225-4365;
Committee: (202) 225-3625;
Representative George Miller, Chair of House Education and Labor Committee: (202) 225-2095;
Committee: (202) 225-3725
Letters of Support
You may also send a letter of support of H.R. 3090 to the Tri-Caucus:
U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)
U.S. Representative Mike Honda, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)

Make sure Congress knows that federal health care reform must include EVERYONE and that true reform will not work for all of us unless immigrants are also able to contribute and have access to coverage and care

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