H.R. 4437

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On December 16, 2005, the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) passed the House by a vote of 239 – 182. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the author of the REAL ID Act, had fast-tracked this anti-immigrant bill that will have a devastating impact on immigrant families and all our communities.

H.R. 4437 would:

Criminalize over 11 million undocumented immigrants, including 1.6 million children, living in the U.S.
In the case of Korean Americans, one out of five are impacted undocumented immigrants. Those who are living here without legal status could be convicted of “aggravated felony” and subjected to imprisonment for a year, deported and permanently barred from re-entry into the U.S. These extreme and harsh provisions will impact millions of hardworking immigrants and their children who have established roots in the U.S. and contributed significantly to our country and economy. Three million U.S. Citizen children of undocumented parents could potentially be torn apart from their families. H.R. 4437 is so far reaching that it would also impact tourists who overstays their visa and student who does not have enough credits to be full-time student.
Penalize any one who comes into contact with an undocumented immigrant.
Individuals could be convicted even if they did not know that the person was undocumented. Actions that which would punish U.S. citizens and permanent residents include the mundane to every day acts of kindness. Here are some examples:
  • Families who live with an undocumented immigrant. (85% of immigrant families are of mixed-status – U.S. citizen and undocumented)
  • The mother who baby-sits her neighbor’s children.
  • The church volunteer who helps feed the hungry.
  • The doctor who provides health care to a sick child.
Turn state and local police officers into immigration agents.
H.R. 4437 would deputize local and state police to enforce federal civil immigration laws. Numerous law enforcement agencies across the country strongly oppose this provision because it would undermine the police department’s ability to maintain trust with the community. Victims or witnesses of crimes will be less likely to cooperate and this would severely jeopardize the public safety of all. Immigration laws are complex and difficult to enforce which could result in selective enforcement and in most cases lead to racial profiling
Make it harder for immigrants to become U.S. Citizens.
H.R. 4437 would grant Department of Homeland Security final and sole authority to deny naturalization application and no process to appeal the decision. In some cases, applications are denied because DHS made a mistake.
Require all employers, unions and workforce development programs to verify the employment status of new hires and current employees.
Within two years all employers would be required to use the seriously flawed Employment Eligibility Verification System to check the status of all their employees.

To learn more and get involved, please contact the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) at 323.937.3703 or at nakasec@nakasec.org.

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