In preparation for the hearings in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the full Committee in June regarding the Moakley-DiConcini bilí (HR 822). The Moakley-DiConcini bill would grant "extended voluntary departure" (EVD) status to Salvadoran refugees already in the U.S. EVD, without adjudicating the issue of whether or not an individual is entitled to political asylum, authorizes residence and the right to woik for as long as conditions in the person's homeland would threaten death or persecution if he or she returned. Keep in mind that the State Department has been briefing the sponsors of the bill and members of these committees with its own information, i.e. that Sanctuary Workers screen refugees in Mexico before bringing them into the U.S. to ensure that they are against U.S. policy in Central America. This is of course untrue, and should be refuted in your letter. Send personal letters to Senator Dennis DeConcini and Rep. Joe Moakley (see above addresses). Suggested points to include: 1. Your background and reason for concern. 2. Your reasons for supporting the Moakley-Diconcini bill. 3. The INS' narrow interpretation of thel980 Refugee Act and the UN Protocol on the status of refugees, both of which define a refugee as one who has left his or her homeland and who has a well-founded fear of persecution, or that life or freedom would be threatened, on account of race, religión, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinión. The war in El Salvador which is forcing people to flee, and the fact that the U.S. is funding that war Send copies to: 1. Rep. Cari Pursell 1414 Longworth Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20515 2. Local newspapers The roots of the issue "Leaders of the Sanctuary Movement maintain that the government's policies toward Central American refugees are both morally and legally wrong. They say they are morally wrong because they viólate the right to asylum as well as humanitarian principies that díctate giving aid to people fleeing persecution and civil strife. They further argue that the United States has a moral responisbility to assist people fleeing Central America because U.S. actions and policies have contributed to the strife that drives people from their homes. The government's policies are said to be legally wrong because they are contrary to international and domestic law. i particular, they are held to be contrary to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951). Like most subsequent documents, including the U.S. Refiigee Act of 1980, this convention defines a refugee as one who has left his or her homeland and who has a well-founded fear of persecution, or that life or freedom would be threatened, on account of race, religión, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinión." From an article by James W. Nickel in the book Sanctuary. Gary MacEoin, ed, Harper and Row, 1985.
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