Take Action: SEARAC Calls on Lawmakers to Reject HR 6691 Community Safety and Security Act of 2018

Proposed legislation would expand mass incarceration and mandatory deportation for immigrant communities

SEARAC urges lawmakers to vote NO on HR 6691 Community Safety and Security Act of 2018. If passed, this bill would expand the definition of “crime of violence,” making more immigrants vulnerable to mandatory detention and deportation for aggravated felonies. After the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA)was passed in 1996, thousands of Southeast Asian American (SEAA) immigrants living in the country as lawful permanent residents suddenly became vulnerable for an overly broad range of offenses.

Since then, at least 16,000 community members have received final orders of deportation to the countries they originally fled as refugee children and babies. More than 13,000 of these were based on old criminal records (78% of total SEAA deportation orders, compared to 29% of all immigrants with deportation orders),mainly due to the expansion of the “aggravated felony” category under IIRIRA. Due to these unjust, punitive, and expansive detention and deportation laws, these individuals become subjected to harsh and unfair double jeopardy in the form of incarceration and deportation years—and even decades—later after serving their time and transforming their lives.

“We are appalled that lawmakers would even consider support for such a cruel and unnecessary bill that does nothing but play to political rhetoric demonizing immigrants,” said Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of SEARAC. “Overly expansive, one-size-fits-all policies that dismiss individual circumstance target the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee families who have demonstrated transformation and resilience despite unspeakable obstacles. We don’t need more laws that will expand mass incarceration and deportation while turning a blind eye toward justice. We urge lawmakers to exercise courage by voting NO on HR 6691.”

TAKE ACTION: A vote on HR 6691 Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 is scheduled for tomorrow.

Call your representative today to stand with the SEAA community by voting NO on this bad policy:

“I am your constituent from (city, state), and I urge you to vote NO on HR 6691 Community Safety and Security Act of 2018, which would broaden the range of offenses mandating detention and deportation for immigrants. The Southeast Asian American community is already prone to some of the highest rates of criminal deportation. We don’t need more black-or-white policies that fail to consider our unique refugee histories. Will your boss support the immigrant community and commit to opposing this measure?”


1. Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, “U.S. Deportation Outcomes by Charge, Completed Cases in Immigration Courts”: