Stop PA Anti-Immigrant Legislation (2017)
Starting on the first day of the 2017-18 legislative session, Pennsylvania legislators began introducing bills targeting immigrant and refugee communities. Many state legislators believe that because both President Trump and Senator Toomey campaigned on the idea of punishing “Sanctuary Cities” in particular and immigrant/refugee communities in general, that they should follow suit and introduce and support punitive, discriminatory policies that target immigrant and refugee communities. Below is a summary of anti-immigrant bills introduced in PA as of Mar. 20, 2017.
Now is the time to tell our elected representatives to #StoptheHate!
On February 7, 2017, the PA Senate passed SB10, a bill targeting the many counties and cities in Pennsylvania that have policies limiting local law enforcement collaboration with ICE. This bill must be considered and voted on by the PA House before the Governor can sign or veto. We believe that legislators should be focusing on issues that will help our communities – raising the minimum wage, funding for public schools, increasing access to healthcare – not passing punitive and discriminatory policies like SB10. You can find information about bills, committee meeting schedules, and your local legislators at: www.legis.state.pa.us.
Send an email to your legislator right now!
The attached toolkit outlines PICC’s strategy for stopping these anti-immigrant bills and pushing legislators to take a pro-immigrant stance. For more general advocacy materials, please check out the Immigrant Day of Action Toolkit.
As of February 7, 2017, SB10 passed the Senate. None of the other bills have received a floor vote.
PA Senate Bills:
- Senate Bill 9 (SB9): Requires additional proof of citizenship to obtain public benefits. The primary effect of this bill will be to make it more difficult for low-income US citizens & legal residents to obtain benefits that they are entitled to, including Unemployment Insurance. Senator STEFANO. Introduced 1/20/17.
- Senate Bill 10 (SB10): Attempts to punish so-called “Sanctuary Cities” by withholding state grants. The definition of a “Sanctuary City” includes policies that prohibit the enforcement of state or federal laws or policies that instruct law enforcement not to honor immigration orders. Also includes annual certification requirements. Senator RESCHENTHALER. Introduced 1/20/17.
- Senate Bill 273 (SB273): Attempts to punish institutions of higher education have “Sanctuary Campus” policies by withholding state funding. The definition of of “sanctuary campus” or “disqualifying immigration policy” includes policies that prohibit the enforcement of federal immigration law; refuses access by federal authorities without a warrant, or directs employees not to coordinate with federal authorities. Also includes annual certification requirements. Senator RAFFERTY. Introduced 1/31/17.
PA House Bills:
- House Bill 14 (HB14): Attempts to withhold state funding from “Sanctuary Campuses.” The definition of “Sanctuary Campus” includes policies that prohibit the enforcement of federal immigration law; refuses access by federal authorities without a warrant; or directs employees not to coordinate with federal authorities. Representative KNOWLES. Introduced 1/23/17.
- House Bill 459 (HB459): Would create a civil fine of $5,000 and potentially revoke the professional license for any employer who employs an undocumented worker as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Representative DeLUCA. Introduced 2/13/17.
- House Bill 826 (HB826): Amends the criminal code to create a felony offense for the possession, use, or attempted use of a benefit transfer device by an unauthorized immigrant. Representative HEFFLEY. Introduced 3/13/17.
- House Bill 856 (HB856): Would mandate the use of E-Verify by all employers. Includes penalty of suspending all state-issued licenses for employers of unauthorized immigrants. Representative METCALFE. Introduced 3/13/17.