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The White House, May 3, 1995
"We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a Nation of laws. It
is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to
permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in
recent years, and we must do more to stop it."
-- President Clintons 1995 State of the Union Message
The President today transmitted to the Congress a legislative
proposal entitled the "Immigration Enforcement Improvements Act of
1995." This legislation is part of the package of enforcement
initiatives the President announced in his State of the Union Message
on January 24, 1995, to aggressively secure our borders, speed the
deportation of illegal aliens, and better enforce the law prohibiting
the employment of illegal aliens.
This legislation will complement the President's unprecedented FY
1996 immigration budget to fund border control and immigration
enforcement initiatives and his February 7, 1995, Presidential
Memorandum, which directs the heads of the Executive Departments and
Agencies to take specific steps to fight illegal immigration. These
steps include: strengthened border control, intensified worksite
enforcement and work authorization verification efforts, expanded
detention and deportation capability (especially of criminal aliens),
additional coordination of deterrence strategies in selected
metropolitan areas, improved benefits verification, continuing work
with States to obtain more Federal help for certain State costs, and
emphasizing international cooperative efforts to jointly resolve
issues of illegal immigration.
Some of the most significant provisions of the legislation, which
will strengthen the Administration's strategy for combatting illegal
immigration, include those to:
* Authorize the Attorney General to increase the Border Patrol by no
fewer than 700 agents and add sufficient personnel to support those
agents for fiscal years 1996, 1997, and 1998.
* Authorize the Attorney General to increase the number of border
inspectors to a level adequate to assure full staffing.
* Authorize an Employment Verification Pilot Program. The program
would test various methods of verifying work authorization status,
including using the Social Security Administration and Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS) databases. The Pilot Program will
determine the most cost-effective, fraud-resistant, and
nondiscriminatory means of removing a significant incentive to
illegal immigration -- employment in the United States.
* Reduce the number of documents that may be used for employment
* Increase substantially the penalties for alien smuggling, illegal
reentry, failure to depart, employer violations, and immigration
* Streamline deportation and exclusion procedures so that the INS
can expeditiously remove more criminal aliens from the United States.
* Allow aliens to be excluded from entering the United States during
extraordinary migration situations or when the aliens are arriving on
board smuggling vessels. Persons with a credible fear of persecution
in their countries of nationality would be allowed to enter the
United States to apply for asylum.
* Expand the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations (RICO) statute to authorize its use to pursue alien
smuggling organizations; permit the INS, with judicial authorization,
to intercept wire, electronic, and oral communications of persons
involved in alien smuggling operations; and make subject to
forfeiture all property, both real and personal, used or intended to
be used to smuggle aliens.
* Authorize Federal courts to require criminal aliens to consent to
their deportation as a condition of probation.
* Permit new sanctions to be imposed against countries that refuse
to accept the deportation of their nationals from the United States.
The proposal will allow the Secretary of State to refuse issuance of
all visas to nationals of those countries.
* Authorize a Border Services User Fee to help add additional
inspectors at high volume ports-of-entry. The new inspectors will
facilitate legal crossings; prevent entry by illegal aliens; and stop
cross-border drug smuggling. (Border States, working with local
communities, would decide whether the fee should be imposed in order
to improve infrastructure.)
This legislative proposal, together with the President's FY 1996
Budget and the Presidential Memorandum signed on February 7th, will
continue this Administration's unprecedented actions to combat
illegal immigration while facilitating legal immigration. Our
comprehensive strategy will protect the integrity of our borders and
laws without dulling the luster of our Nation's proud immigrant
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