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[Congressional Record: October 30, 2000 (Extensions)]
[Page E2024]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr30oc00-19]                         

 
                COMMERCE, JUSTICE, STATE APPROPRIATIONS

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. ANNA G. ESHOO

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, October 30, 2000

  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, when we passed the H-1B legislation recently, 
it was my deep regret that Congress missed an opportunity to grant 
long-awaited parity to certain groups of immigrants in our country. 
Today I rise to speak against the measure currently before us because 
we're heading for another missed opportunity.
  Significant portions of our Nation's population have been living, 
working, and raising families in the United States for many years. But 
they've been living in legal limbo, fearing deportation, because they 
were wrongly denied legal status to which they were entitled and which 
they qualified for in the 1980's
  Another group of immigrants has also been treated unfairly. In 1996 
and 1997 Congress gave Nicaraguans and Cubans the opportunity to become 
permanent residents, but thousands of refugees from Guatemala, El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti were left with only temporary residency 
status. This group deserves the same opportunity to obtain American 
citizenship.
  The remedy for these problems, the Latino Fairness and Immigration 
Act, has been kept out of the Commerce, Justice and State 
appropriations bill. The Act is based on our country's basic tenet that 
people in similar situations should be treated equitably. It would keep 
immigrant families united through restoration of Section 245(i) of the 
INS Code. It would reward them for their hard work and recognize that 
they've paid their taxes and made other contributions to this country. 
It would also establish legal parity for all refugees who fled 
political turmoil in the 1990s.
  It is important to state that because of past congressional action 
and bureaucratic bungling, some who were eligible for a legalization 
program enacted in 1986 are now U.S. citizens, while others are facing 
deportation. If we pass the Latino Immigration and Fairness Act, we'd 
be rewarding people who have played by the rules, telling them that the 
U.S. Government is willing to correct its mistakes of the past, keep 
their families united and exercise fairness.
  What we're simply asking for is that a correction be made to an 
acknowledged wrong. Congress has taken this sort of action numerous 
times in the past when it has acted to legalize the residency of those 
who have been in America for many years.
  This fair remedy is long overdue. What has been brought to the floor 
is an incomplete, inadequate measure that rewards some and denies 
others. Its inadequacy and unfairness falls short of what we stand for 
as a nation and what in the name of fairness should be done.
  I ask my colleagues to reject the C-J-S appropriations bill for these 
reasons and instead support the Latino Fairness and Immigration Act.

                          ___________________

			


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