Immigration, Civil Liberties and Islamophobia Campaigns

Peaceful Tomorrows has lobbied around legislation affecting immigrants as a result of 9/11, rejecting the stereotyping and scapegoating that sometimes accompanied otherwise positive and meaningful reform efforts.

In July, 2004, members of Peaceful Tomorrows lobbied in favor of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S.B. 4515), which would allow certain non-citizen students permanent residency and access to education and employment opportunities, even though their parents might be undocumented or in immigration “limbo.”

In October, 2004, Peaceful Tomorrows joined calls to Stop H.R. 10, which added anti-immigrant legislation to the “9/11 Commission Recommendations Implementation Act.” Both houses of Congress favored the Act, but the version passed in the House of Representatives included immigration amendments that were never part of the Commission’s recommendations. A letter from Peaceful Tomorrows was distributed to the H.R. 10 conferees and read on the floor of the House of Representatives. As the year ended, the resolution’s provisions were successfully removed from the Act.

When many of those same anti-immigrant provisions returned in the form of H.R. 418, the “REAL ID” Act, Peaceful Tomorrows issued a press release stating our opposition to the bill, and our statement was circulated as a “Dear Colleague” letter in Congress. In April, 2005, we organized a press conference, in conjunction with immigrant advocacy organizations, to ask that the REAL ID Act be defeated either as a stand-alone bill or as an amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill.

In June, 2005, Peaceful Tomorrows wrote a letter to Congress expressing our concerns about, and supporting reforms to, the Patriot Act. We joined the coalition, “Patriots for Checks and Balances,” in a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania press conference highlighting the erosion of personal freedoms and civil liberties under the Patriot Act and calling for sensible and effective reforms. Members of Peaceful Tomorrows also appeared in the ACLU video, “Blank Check, No Balance,” which called attention to the Act’s more egregious features. In the days leading up to the final vote on the Patriot Act in September, 2005, we issued a letter to House and Senate conferees expressing support for the modest reforms contained in Senate Bill 1389, and underscored our support through targeted visits to Capitol Hill.

Since 2010, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Rule of Law campaign has mobilized and amplified the voices of 9/11 family members who support closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, restoring the rule of law, and ending indefinite detention and other violations of human rights that have become an enduring legacy of the U.S. “War on Terror.” Our goal for this initiative has been to strengthen the reasonable voices of 9/11 family members who support the rule of law in all aspects of dealing with the perpetrators and accused perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. This includes the decision to conduct federal versus military trials, to close Guantanamo, to end indefinite detention, to end the military commissions, and related issues.

Filed in: Islamophobia

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September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is a project of Tides Center.

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