December 15, 2005

Barbara Lee Speaks Out Against GOP Immigration Bill

(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) spoke out against a controversial Republican immigration bill during debate on the measure in the House today. The following is her statement:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to this un-American attempt at so-called immigration reform. At best, this legislation is unbalanced, harsh and unfair.

“This bill criminalizes millions of hard-working people, simply for being undocumented.

“It would turn local law enforcement into deputies of the Border Patrol, and innocent people will be needlessly scrutinized and jailed, and I can only imagine how this irresponsible provision will affect racial profiling of Latinos and other minorities.

“This bill also ignores due process and would expand the government’s ability to keep non-citizens locked up behind bars if they cannot be deported to their native countries. Jailed immigrants will lose their ability to appeal a deportation order.

“Mr. Speaker, these are only a few reasons why this bill makes no sense for America.

“Let’s address the real issues of immigration reform that include a clear path to citizenship and common-sense protections for our borders.

“We cannot and must not forget the undeniable history that we have as a nation of immigrants, and the contributions immigrants have had on our economy, our diversity, and our way of life.

“This bill flies in the face of that history and should be rejected.”