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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE Clinton Immigration Proposal Dangerous and Misguided; Eliminates Judicial Review and Denies Legal Protections to Refugees For IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 23, 1993 WASHINGTON -- Following is a statement from Lucas Guttentag, Director of the Immigrants' Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union on the immigration bill proposed today by the Clinton Administration. "The asylum exclusion bill proposed today by President Clinton would allow the INS to operate behind a veil of secrecy and would deny constitutional due process to legitimate seekers of political asylum. The proposal is a badly misguided response by the President and some in Congress that panders to America's most primitive fears about immigration. "It is disturbing that this Administration -- led by a lawyer who served as his state's Attorney General -- would propose to eliminate due process and judicial review in the guise of combatting asylum abuse. The only possible motivation for such a proposal must be the Administration's fear that judicial oversight will expose discrimination, bias and incompetence by the INS and that an independent judiciary will force the INS to be fair and even-handed in determining refugee status for immigrants. "Rather than addressing the backlogs, shortage of asylum officers, insufficient resources and poor management that run rampant in the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Administration's legislation would punish legitimate refugees seeking asylum in this country. "The Administration's proposed `reform' bill would throw the entire asylum system into turmoil by creating new and untested legal standards, establishing another bureaucracy within the Justice Department and denying asylum applicants the most basic forms of legal protection guaranteed to everyone in this country by the U.S. Constitution. "The Clinton bill would also try to strip the federal courts of their historic jurisdiction to enforce individual rights and prohibit illegal government conduct. It would create a system where uncontrolled governmental abuse would go undetected because judicial oversight of the process would be prohibited. Even if the INS flagrantly violated the minimal procedures required by the bill, the courts would be impotent to act." --endit-- ============================================================= 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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