USA: Amnesty International Welcomes Rep. Luis Gutierrez's Immigrant Reform Bill

Press Release
December 15, 2009

USA: Amnesty International Welcomes Rep. Luis Gutierrez's Immigrant Reform Bill

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
PRESS RELEASE
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Amnesty International Welcomes Rep. Luis Gutierrez's Immigrant Reform Bill

(Washington) -Sarnata Reynolds, Advocacy and Policy Director for Refugee and Migrants' Rights at Amnesty International USA (AISUA), issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP) to the U.S. House of Representatives:

"Amid ongoing arrests and detentions resulting in egregious human rights violations for immigrants and refugees, U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) today introduced CIR ASAP, a bill that recognizes the human rights of all in the United States and restores to immigrants and refugees important due process protections. The timing could not be better."

More than 10 million people live in the United States without a recognized legal status. Every week immigrants are rounded up, separated from U.S. citizen children and pushed through an arbitrary detention and deportation system without consideration of their family situation, community ties and work histories.

CIR ASAP restores due process in detention and deportation and creates legal avenues for hardworking people to remain with their families in the United States." "AIUSA applauds the introduction of this legislation and looks forward to working with Congress to recognize and restore the human rights of immigrants and refugees."

"Rep. Gutierrez's bill also affords millions of hardworking immigrants the opportunity to attain legal status in the United States, bolsters oversight and accountability for the conduct of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in their duties and provides families with avenues to be reunited or remain together."

As AIUSA documented in its March 2009 exposé on the issue, Jailed Without Justice, tens of thousands of people -- immigrants, asylum seekers and U.S. citizens -- are subject to arbitrary detention and deportation each year. At any time, mothers and fathers, breadwinners and caretakers, community leaders, human rights defenders, and scholars can be rounded up, detained, and entered into a deportation system without even the right to a hearing to determine whether detention is necessary.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

Contact: AIUSA media office, 202-509-8634 media@aiusa.org

For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org