Friday, August 26, 2011

Pennsylvanians Tell House State Government Committee: Anti-Immigrant Legislation Is Bad For Our Commonwealth

Media Advisory
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Advocating for immigrants, migrants and refugees
2100 Arch Street, 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 832-0636      Fax: (215) 832-0527     Email:

On August 30 and 31, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee will hold hearings on Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s “National Security Begins at Home” package of anti-immigrant bills. These Arizona-style measures would be costly to our state and local governments, creating new bureaucracies which duplicate responsibilities constitutionally assigned to the federal government. Unfortunately, the list of witnesses for the hearing has been limited, preventing many sound practical, legal, and moral arguments against this legislation from being heard. For that reason, a diverse group of leaders from the faith, business, legal, and immigrant communities will join the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition for a press conference prior to the hearings to encourage the State Government Committee to defeat all 14 bills.

The anti-immigrant bills that will be discussed at the hearing include:

·         Arizona-style measures that would jeopardize public safety by forcing local police to act as immigration agents;

·         Proposals that would deny vulnerable Pennsylvanians public benefits by requiring them to show government-issued ID;

·         Bills that would restrict job creation by mandating the use of the inaccurate E-Verify database;

·         Legislation that attempts to strip Pennsylvanian children born to undocumented immigrants of their constitutionally guaranteed citizenship;

·         Measures that would deny critical services to many Pennsylvanians by allowing the state to withhold funding from cities or municipalities that offer any type of service to undocumented immigrants.

This legislation is a distraction. On August 30, we will ask our legislators to turn their attention away from divisive proposals that threaten to harm vulnerable Pennsylvanians, waste taxpayer dollars and embroil our Commonwealth in burdensome lawsuits, and instead put the focus back on creating jobs and growing our economy.

WHERE:        Rotunda, Main Capitol Building
                        Harrisburg, PA

WHEN:          12 p.m., Tuesday, August 30
NOTE from PA NOW: This press conference immediately precedes the two days of hearings being held by the PA House State Government Committee that is chaired by Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R), the prime sponsor of many of these bills.  Please attend this event in Harrisburg on Tuesday and/or contact your legislator. Tell him/her to vote NO on all of these anti-immigrant bills that threaten the lives of anyone, especially women and children, who look like they might be undocumented. 

I'll be posting a second blog that includes a list of all the bills that will be heard at this hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 30 and 31.  This blog also includes Pennsylvania NOW's testimony on several photo identification bills (HB 858, HB 41, HB 738, and SB 9), a bill (HB 857) that denies citizenship to children born in the United States whose parents are not US citizens, and a bill (HB 856) that uses racial profiling to target undocumented laborers.


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