WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 19, 2015) — The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is urging senators to oppose cloture on the motion to proceed to the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146).
“The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans strongly opposes the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “This misnamed legislation would undermine local efforts to enhance our community safety and stand in sharp opposition to our commitment to due process and fairness for all.”
“Quite simply, this is the wrong approach to addressing our country’s broken immigration system. Instead, the Senate should turn its attention to comprehensive legislative solutions that are grounded in our constitutional protections, promote the safety of our communities and restore humanity and dignity in our immigration system.”
Therefore, NCAPA urges Senators to vote NO tomorrow on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2146.
Racial and religious profiling already targets Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Individuals from our communities are often stopped or asked about their immigration status based on stereotypes about who is considered “foreign” or “un-American.” This is especially concerning because 78 percent of adult Asian Americans are foreign-born—more than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States.
When immigration enforcement measures rely on profiling, they destroy community relationships with law enforcement and other government agencies and make all communities less safe. Specifically, immigration enforcement programs that involve state and local law enforcement deter Asian Americans from reporting crimes, sharing information or serving as witnesses. This would have a significant impact on our communities, especially with respect to incidents of domestic violence; according to the U.S. Surgeon General, AAPI women are the most likely of any ethnic group to be victims of domestic violence.
Many leaders in AAPI communities have worked to reduce racial and religious profiling. We have built relationships of trust with local law enforcement agencies and empowered our communities—and as a result, we have made our communities safer. We have done so by leading and participating in local campaigns to limit the participation of local law enforcement in immigration enforcement, and more than 350 community trust policies that limit compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detainer requests have been enacted around the country.
Unfortunately, this legislation would undo these efforts by withholding critical funding from these hundreds of law enforcement agencies that have adopted trust policies in an attempt to balance local interests and limited police resources, while gaining the trust of the communities these local agencies are sworn to serve and protect.
This legislation also would force state and local law enforcement to implement detainers without addressing the inherent constitutional defects they present. They fail to acknowledge the growing body of constitutional law wherein courts have found local jurisdictions liable for Fourth Amendment violations resulting from compliance with detainer requests. In addition, mandating state and local law enforcement agencies to notify DHS when individuals are released from custody goes against the recommendations of law enforcement leaders such as the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Finally, we are concerned about the impact of a new mandatory minimum sentence for illegal reentry—despite a growing, bipartisan consensus that mandatory minimum sentences are unjust and unwise—and this legislation would result in an increase of $2 billion in spending—funding that could be spent to increase our community safety rather than undermine it.
For these reasons, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans opposes the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.