Kentucky's Attack On Migrant People: Senate Bill 6

The attack on migrant people can divide families and destroy lives. SB6 hurts all of us. When ANY group is under attack, democracy is undermined. Our own humanity depends on refusing to be silent. Stop SB6 and build a climate of justice today and over the long haul.

SB 6 will seriously harm Kentucky and all Kentucky residents because:

-SB 6 will target anyone for detention who does not speak English or who appears to have been born outside the US. One of the main sponsors of the legislation said a person’s inability to speak English could provide “reasonable suspicion” the person is an “unauthorized alien.” This will lead to detentions of individuals who are authorized to remain in the US, such as someone on a visa, a permanent resident, or even a citizen. Law enforcement officers are not instructed of the many legal statuses that exist for those who are not citizens. Unlawful detentions and arrests will occur on a regular basis.

-SB 6 will target anyone (including citizens and permanent residents) who “assists” an undocumented worker or his undocumented children. This would include a religious person who transports an undocumented worker to a religious service, or a friend who transports an undocumented child to a doctor’s office. Also, any assistance that could encourage someone to “reside in” KY is prohibited. This would include an organization that provides food a needy undocumented family, or a language instructor who provides English language classes to an undocumented child. The offender is forced to pay a $500 or $1,000 fine. And transporting an undocumented worker or child to obtain the needed service will lead to seizure of the auto.

-SB 6 will cost our state treasury untold millions in lost tax revenue, increased expenses to enforce the new law, and legal fees in a futile attempt to uphold its constitutionality. The Senate proponents recklessly decided not to consider the estimated costs of the legislation prior to passage, claiming that was not important.

-SB 6 will mean millions of dollars in lost foreign investment, a loss of groundbreaking researchers at our universities, fewer foreign students at our universities, and tens of thousands of fewer foreign visitors each year. Many foreigners will not want to step foot in our state if they fear detention or arrest on suspicion of being an “unauthorized alien.” We will gain a worldwide reputation as an unwelcoming, racist, and mean-spirited state.

-SB 6 will make hamper cooperation with local police by the immigrant communities. The National Association of Police Chiefs has criticized similar laws. Police Chiefs understand that many immigrant crime victims will think twice about reporting crimes or cooperating with police it they fear racial profiling or bias in application of the law. Victims of domestic violence, who may fear for their lives, will have no place to turn if they suspect they could be arrested by police for having an undocumented status.

-SB 6 does nothing to solve the problems created by our broken immigration system. Only reform of our outdated and unresponsive immigration laws can greatly reduce the number of undocumented workers in the U.S., in a manner consistent with our nation’s values of common decency, justice and fair play.

ACTION REQUEST AND FACT SHEET (from late January 2011) about KENTUCKY SB 6 IMMIGRATION BILL

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