NEW IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS BILL-Andrew Stelzer

05/04/04

Several members of Congress unveiled a new immigration bill today that would guarantee legal U.S. residence for virtually every illegal alien living in the U.S., it would also allow millions of additional relatives to join them in the US. The proposed law, sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative Luis Gutierrez, will legalize immigrants who have been in the US for the last 5 years, and have been working for 2 of those years. Illegal aliens who have been here less than five years would be granted "transitional status" and remain here until they have accumulated enough time to qualify for amnesty. Anna Fink is the co-director of Unite for Dignity.

ACT “Everyone knows there are a lot of immigrants…�

The proposed law, which is also supported by representative Bob Menendez, would authorize the issuance of temporary Visas to people entering the country to work, which will help the government keep track of people, and hopefully prevent illegal immigrants. The legislation also waives existing re-entry bars for illegal aliens who have been removed, allowing them to return to the U.S. to claim amnesty. Herman Martinez works with the Homestead Committee for Legalization, he and other community advocates gave legislators input that led to the drafting of the bill. Martinez says that the system that keeps immigrants status as illegal is unfair to those who work hard and obey the law, and the lack of records ends up putting everyone in danger.

ACT “The legalization of immigrants has to happen..

Although Martinez hopes the FOLVE act is passed, he says he’s worried that just like governor Jeb Bush’s drivers license proposal, it is a meaningless proposal meant to make elected officials seem sympathetic to the cause of undocumented workers.

ACT “The legalization of immigrants is needed in the United States.�

Fink says that no matter what, the Kennedy-Gutierrez bill is a step in the right direction for a country with an immigration system that simply does not work.

ACT �It is unlikely that this bill is going to pass this year. But if it doesn’t it will set up comprehensive reform for next year.�

For more information on the Kennedy –Guiterrez immigration bill, call ACORN at 202-547-2500

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