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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU Statement Denouncing Republican Task Force Bill on Illegal Immigration For IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 10, 1994 Statement by Gary Stern, Legislative Counsel and Lucas Guttentag, Director, National Immigrants' Rights Project "The Republican Task Force proposal to revise the laws governing illegal immigration is a cynical and calculating attempt by members of Congress who wish to exploit anti-immigrant bigotry. "The underlying premise of this omnibus bill, that abuse of our immigration laws is widespread and responsible for a host of social and economic woes, is simply false. The premise dramatically exaggerates the extent of illegal immigration and scapegoats undocumented -- as well as documented -- immigrants for the problems and challenges that face this nation. The truth is that a tiny percentage of the total population of the United States is comprised of undocumented persons, according to the Census Bureau. And only 8 percent of the American population is foreign-born, as compared to 14 percent in 1910. "In light of the Clinton Administration's announcement last week proposing new steps to address immigration issues, the bill introduced today is not only unsound and misguided, but unnecessary. While the ACLU reserves judgment on certain aspects of the Administration's plan, we applaud its attempts at reform. In particular, it recognizes the need for an independent review commission to investigate charges of abuse by border patrol agents. "True immigration reform would address inefficiencies and critical understaffing at the INS -- problems that have led to a backlog of approximately 300,000 asylum applications -- rather than imposing measures to deprive legitimate refugees of the right to due process and to speedy decisions on their cases. The legal standards currently in place are adequate to deal with frivolous cases if INS were sufficiently staffed and well managed. "The Republican Task Force proposal presumes that undocumented immigrants are a drain on the economy even though the body of research indicates that immigrants, both documented and undocumented, contribute to the economy and are an asset rather than a burden. Immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in public benefits and services. True reform would address the root causes of immigration and the real problems facing our cities, our schools and our economy." ### ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher:// | American Civil Liberties Union National Office | | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"


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