Civil Rights Groups Blast Cruel Immigration Bills Disguised as “Compromise”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 118 civil and immigrants’ rights groups urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose two immigration bills under consideration this week: The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (the “Ryan bill”) and the Securing America’s Future Act (the “Goodlatte bill”).

Republicans have touted the Ryan bill as a “compromise,” but nothing could be further from the truth. The bill is a more radical version of the White House immigration framework that garnered only 39 Senate votes earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Goodlatte bill is even more extreme, in part because it would leave Dreamers without a path to citizenship.

The groups write:

“Contrary to what some proponents of the Ryan and Goodlatte proposals have claimed, neither bill would end the inhumane treatment of children at the Southern border. This is because neither bill would bring an end to the administration’s recent policy decision that has intentionally caused trauma to children. The administration has ended humane, effective, and cost-efficient policies that provide alternatives to detention. Neither bill would restore them.

“Separating children from their parents traumatizes families and undermines our country’s once honored commitment to ensuring fairness and protection for those fleeing persecution. Family separation disgraces America’s founding principles. And it won’t stand if you and your colleagues demand the president reverse his cruel policy.

“Any member of Congress who claims to support young immigrants – Dreamers as well as children fleeing persecution – must oppose both the Ryan and the Goodlatte bills.”

The Leadership Conference will score both votes in our annual Voting Record, which has scored every Congress since 1969. The voting record reflects positions taken by every senator and representative on the legislative priorities of The Leadership Conference and its more than 200 coalition members.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.


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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit