Sign-On Letter to the Conference Committee Opposing Anti-Refugee Provisions in H.R. 10

October 20, 2004

Dear Member of Congress:

As the House and Senate work to reconcile their respective "9-11 Commission recommendations" bills in conference, we ask that you reject the anti-refugee provisions of the House-passed H.R. 10.

We are particularly concerned that some of these provisions will put the lives and safety of victims of torture at risk. The bill will allow non-citizens, including those who are likely to face torture, to be deported without a court hearing; will make it much more difficult for genuine refugees to prove their asylum cases; and will deprive victims of torture and other persecution of meaningful judicial review.

Included by House leadership over the objections of the 9-11 Commission and 9-11 victims' family members, these measures do nothing to assist in the war on terror. Instead, they place broad new restrictions on refugees seeking asylum, subjecting them to fast-track deportations and denying them protection from persecution and the fundamental right of judicial review.

Specifically, we the undersigned, oppose the following provisions of H.R. 10:

  • Expedited Removal: Deportations without Hearings (Section 3007)
  • Added Hurdles for Asylum Seekers (Section 3008)
  • Depriving Asylum Seekers and Torture Victims of Judicial Review (Section 3010)
  • Deportation or Indefinite Detention of People subject to Torture (Section 3032)
  • Deportation to Places With No Functioning Government (Section 3033)

Please see the enclosed document for a detailed legal analysis of these objectionable H.R. 10 provisions. Thank you for your consideration.



American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Amnesty International USA
Anti-Defamation League
Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
CAIR Coalition
Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services
Catholic Charities USA
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, U. C. Hastings College of the Law
Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program
Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition
Episcopal Church, U.S.A.
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights Chicago, Illinois
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
Human Rights First
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Immigration and Refugee Services of America/ U.S. Committee for Refugees
Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries of Illinois
International Rescue Committee
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Inc.
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Legal Momentum: Advancing Women's Rights
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Migrant and Refugee Cultural Support, Inc.
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC)
National Association of Evangelicals
National Council of La Raza
National Immigration Forum
Physicians for Human Rights
Sojourners Ministry
Tahirih Justice Center The Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center Chicago, Illinois
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Vermont Refugee Assistance
Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
World Organization for Human Rights USA
Word Relief
Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children

Individual Experts*:

Philip G. Schrag, Professor of Law, Georgetown University
Amy Kratz, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project; Director, University of Washington School of Law Immigration Clinic
Michael J. Churgin, Raybourne Thompson Centennial Professor, University of Texas School of Law
Jon Bauer, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Asylum & Human Rights Clinic, University of Connecticut School of Law
Jennifer M. Chacon, Acting Professor of Law, School of Law, University of California, Davis
Jaya Ramji, Advocacy Fellow, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center
Roberto A. Andreos, Law Offices of Roberto A. Andreos
Amy Wallace-Havens
Lynn Marcus, Director, Immigration Law Clinic, Rogers College of Law (University of Arizona)
Mary Brittingham, Associate Professor of Clinical Law, George Washington University Law School
Sabrina A. Davis
Emilie Hyams, student in Immigration Law Clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona
Sue Roche
Heather Seasonwein, Esq
Riikka E. Morrill, Paralegal, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Virgil Wiebe, Director of Clinical Education & Assistant Professor of Law University of St. Thomas School of Law
Elizabeth M. Bruch, Associate Professor of Law, Valparaiso University School of Law
Karen Musalo, Resident Scholar & Professor of Refugee Law University of California, Hasting College of the Law
Bridgette Carr, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Ave Maria School of Law
Diane Uchimiya, Advocacy Fellow/Immigration Attorney, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center
Paige Winslett, President, Board of Directors, Asylum Program of Southern Arizona
Simon M Azar-Farr, Simon Azar-Farr & Assoc.
Jennifer Gordon, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Law School

*Institutional affiliations are for individual signatories and for identification purposes only.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 04102010.