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Dear Editor:
The following is NIF's press release on INS Commissioner Ziglar's resignation which deals a blow to immigrants and the Bush administration:

Statement by Angela Kelley, Deputy Director

The news today that INS Commissioner James Ziglar plans to resign later this year is a huge loss to immigrants, the INS, and the Bush Administration. Commissioner Ziglar's leadership at the embattled and underfunded agency has been remarkable said the Deputy Director of a leading non-profit pro-immigration organization in Washington.

"Commissioner Ziglar has much needed management experience and clout on Capital Hill at a time when the INS is facing the greatest challenge in its history," said Angela Kelley, Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum. "Moving the agency to the Department of Homeland Security will create tremendous upheaval and Commissioner Ziglar is uniquely qualified to mitigate the disruption for both INS employees and the immigrants that depend on the agency for services," Kelley continued.

"Ziglar understands that we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws and his positions have generally struck the right balance between the need for heightened security and the need to remain true to our national traditions and values of being a welcoming country for immigrants and a beacon of hope for the world's refugees," Kelley said.

"His visionary strong leadership, especially since September 11, has been an important calm and sensible voice within the Department of Justice, pushing back when certain others wanted to put unreasonable and uncalled for pressure on immigrant communities across the country in the name of counterterrorism," Kelley added.

"I suspect it was becoming increasingly difficult for a pro-immigration Republican to feel that he has a place at the table within this administration, which is increasingly perceived by immigrants as hostile to hard working, law abiding newcomers," Kelley said. "We will certainly miss his valuable insights into how we can balance the need to isolate terrorism while refraining from isolating America and making all immigrants feel unwelcome," she concluded.

Douglas G. Rivlin
Director of Communication
National Immigration Forum