Important Message from the ACA: Immigration Reform Bill Passes Committee Without Regard to Impact on Camps

Posted

On the evening of May 21, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Immigration Reform bill without making the changes that would ensure the continuation of the cultural exchange program that brings international camp counselors and support staff to American camps. Quickly, ACA and others will be putting together a new call to action as the bill will now be debated on the floor of the Senate. Stay tuned!

Download a copy of our Key Messages about S.744 - the Senate Immigration Reform Bill.

As you may be aware, Congress is currently considering legislation that would overhaul our immigration system. We have been watching the debate unfold, and it has come to our attention that the International Cultural Exchange Program that provides international camp counselors and support staff to camps across the country may be in jeopardy if provisions currently under consideration are swept up in this reform. While there is no impact on this summer, future summers would be impacted if the bill passes as currently under consideration.

A section of S.744 the Senate immigration bill regarding “the prevention of trafficking of persons” labels international camp staff and other exchange visitors as “workers,” not as the cultural exchange participants they are — and have been since the inception of the program.   If this change is made, it would:

  1. Endanger the future of this important cultural exchange program — perhaps threatening their viability entirely.
  2. Make participation significantly more expensive for camps by creating new government programmatic fees.
  1. Create more regulatory complexity and confusion for camps by transferring a portion of the programs' authority from the Department of State to the Department of Homeland Security.

Thank you for your support! If you have any questions, contact the ACA Public Policy Office at publicpolicy@ACAcamps.org or 800-428-2267.