Friday, November 30, 2012

Sanctuary for Families Opposes Passage Of STEM Jobs Act

From: Sanctuary for Families:
 
The following is a statement from Laurel W. Eisner, Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families and Julie Dinnerstein, Co-Director, Immigration Intervention Project, Sanctuary for Families:
 
“Women immigrants are at risk today as the House of Representatives votes on the STEM Jobs Act. Sanctuary for Families strongly opposes the current version of the Act, which contains a provision that would remove ‘V visa’ safeguards for family members while purporting to facilitate the immigration of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

The original V visa—available only to those green card family members who began the sponsorship process before December 21, 2000—favored family reunification by giving spouses the ability to live and work in the United States while waiting to get to the front of the immigrant visa line. However, in the Act the House is voting on today, immigrants granted V visas would not be eligible to work, nor be eligible for Social Security Numbers or driver licenses.

This needlessly creates an unprotected class of immigrants invited into the United States without the basic tools of independence. Sanctuary for Families helps thousands of domestic violence survivors and their children build safe lives with a range of high quality services to meet their complex needs.  We know just how critical these tools are.

This punitive measure instantly erodes years of work that went into developing legislative amendments meant to protect immigrating family members from harm.  We urge House members to vote down today’s bill, and have a serious discussion about how to protect our women immigrants.”
 
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About Sanctuary for Families
Sanctuary for Families is the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. Each year, we help thousands of victims and their children build safe lives through a range of high quality services.

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