Joint Letter to Congress re: REAL ID Act

February 9, 2005
Joint Letter to Congress

PDF version available here.

February 9, 2005

Dear Member of Congress:

We, the under-signed organizations, continue to urge you to vote against the REAL ID Act (H.R.418). We also have serious concerns about a new amendment to be offered by Rep. Sensenbrenner. The amendment he proposed today would make the bill worse in various important ways. This amendment would, among other changes, make it even more difficult for legitimate asylum-seekers to find refuge in the United States, and it would bar courts from reviewing an even broader range of decisions to deport non-citizens.

The amendment would also lift the cap on the number of asylees who can adjust to permanent resident status each year. That cap is now so low (10,000) that an asylee who applies today for a green card can expect to wait at least 15 years to become a legal permanent resident. While we support eliminating the cap, we oppose the Sensenbrenner amendment because it would remove the cap at the cost of preventing asylum seekers from finding the safety they desperately need. Thank you for considering our views.



American Civil Liberties Union
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Amnesty International USA
American Jewish Committee
Anti-Defamation League
Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
B’nai B’rith International
Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition (CAIR)
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Church Alliance for a New Sudan
Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
Human Rights First
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Immigration Equality
Institute on Religion and Public Policy
Jesuit Refugee Service USA
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Labor Committee
Jubilee Campaign
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Legal Momentum
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center
Migrant and Refugee Cultural Support, Inc
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
The Multiracial Activist
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
National Immigration Forum
National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women
People For the American Way
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Tahirih Justice Center
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
The Union for Reform Judaism
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Vermont Refugee Assistance
Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children
Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring
World Organization for Human Rights USA
World Relief


Peggy Birchfield
Executive Director
Religious Freedom Coalition

Donna M. Hughes
Professor and Carlson Endowed Chair
Women’s Studies Program
University of Rhode Island

Michele Pistone
Professor and Director
Clinical Program & CARES Clinic
Villanova University School of Law

Berta J. Romero
Refugee Affairs
Refugee Council USA

Philip G. Schrag
Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center

*For individual signers, institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only

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