Instead of a regular editorial and as a service to the community, I am including the following information.

On December 16, 2005, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.  The legislation is extremely punitive and will unduly harm immigrants and their families in this nation. 

Major Provisions of HR 4437

“Unlawful presence” would now be considered a crime and a felony, meaning that undocumented immigrants may have to serve jail time and would be barred from future legal status and from re-entry into the country.

Immigrants, including asylum-seekers, victims of human trafficking, victims of domestic abuse, and children who are apprehended along an international border or at a port-of-entry would be detained until such time as they are removed from the nation or otherwise provided immigration relief.

Anyone or any organization who “assists” an individual without documentation “to reside in or remain” in the United States knowingly or with “reckless disregard” as to the individual’s legal status would be liable for criminal penalties and five years in prison.   This could include church personnel who provide shelter or other basic needs assistance to an undocumented individual.  Property used in this act would be subject to seizure and forfeiture.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be required to erect up to 700 miles of fencing along the Southwest border at points with the highest number of immigrant deaths.

State and local law enforcement are authorized to enforce federal immigration laws.  State and local governments which refuse to participate would be subject to the loss of federal funding.

Document fraud would be considered an aggravated felony and would subject an asylum-seeker to deportation and bars to re-entry.

These represent a few of the most egregious provisions of H.R. 4437. We urge you to contact your senators to express deep concern with the passage of this legislation. Take action.

Contact your senator regarding the passage of HR4437. Ask them to vote No to HR4437

The people in Indiana helped to defeat the bill HB1383, now is the time to stop the federal bill HR4437.