Progressive Immigration Reform
As the country’s largest Arab American civil rights organization, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has worked tirelessly to bring about progressive immigration reform. ADC, along with other members of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, continues to call on Congress and the administration to adopt a sustainable immigration policy that ensures dignity to immigrant families, and eliminates draconian enforcement and border policing tactics. Measures must also be adopted to eliminate immigration policies that will result in racial profiling of immigrant communities, and to abandon the inherently flawed 287(g) and “Secure Communities” programs. The new immigration policy must also ensure that prosecutorial discretion – the use of good judgment and common sense – is being applied in all immigration enforcement operations, and eliminate the excesses and abuses in immigration detention policies. Immigration remains a dominant issue for the legal department. The issues facing the Arab American community in terms of immigration are complex and cover a broad spectrum of areas. Delays in immigration petitions or applications, the threat or experience of detention or deportation, and general immigration filing assistance are among the areas in which ADC Legal has assisted clients. ADC supports immigration reforms that:
- Provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants
- A commitment to restoring and promoting family unification
- An end to the detention measures currently used by DHS and other agencies
- Restoration and protection of due process rights for all immigrants
- Measures preventing racial profiling and discrimination
- A complete end to the discriminatory program of NSEERS
- Full protection of the rights of immigrant workers
In March of 2014, ADC submitted proposed recommendations and comments for rulemaking to the United States
Department of Homeland Security on the Immigration and Nationality Act regulations. The proposed recommendations and comments for rulemaking were: 1) the right to appeal termination of refugee status prior to finality of termination status; and 2) prohibiting detention of stateless person beyond removal period and requiring the release and/or parole of such stateless persons. ADC also provided a statement for the record in the Senate hearing on January 7, 2014 entitled “The Syrian Refugee Crisis.” In the statement, ADC urged the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights to explore all possible measures to better address the Syrian refugee crises and grave humanitarian situation in Syria. ADC also explained that Palestinian refugees have been detrimentally affected by the conflict in Syria. ADC urged the US to take proactive steps in responding to the Syrian refugee crisis, such as accepting more refugees and offering more opportunities for asylum. ADC continues to call on the Arab American community to take action and to encourage Congress and the Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
In May 2016, ADC endorsed the Freedom of Religion Act (FOR). This legislation is a strong statement that Congress will stand up for religious freedom, and will not give in to Donald Trump’s xenophobic and anti-Muslim rhetoric.