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III. New Community -
"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 im
migration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to
-- President Clinton 1995 State of the Union
Illegal Immigration - An Inherited Problem
This Administration inherited a serious illegal immigration problem
as a result of a decade of failed immigration policies.
The Administration Has a Four Point Plan to Deal With Illegal Immigration.
The Clinton Administration has made the strongest commitment to
fighting illegal immigration in history. In the 1996 budget, the
President called for a $1 billion increase to combat illegal immigration
through border control, work site enforcement, removal of criminal
aliens, assistance to States, and other key initiatives.
Strengthening Border Control -- The Clinton Administration is
doing more at the border to deter illegal immigration than any
Administration in history.
Border Personnel -- By the end of 1996, we will have increased
overall Border personnel by 51% at the Southwest border.
Anti-smuggling -- Will substantially increase resources to combat
alien smuggling and seek to negotiate arrangements to ensure assistance
of foreign governments on international immigration issues.
Protecting American Jobs -- Work site enforcement and verification.
The Clinton Administration is the first to take strong steps for
effective enforcement of employer sanctions and minimum labor standards
to address illegal immigration.
The Administration is vigorously enforcing the labor and employer
sanctions laws against employers who hire illegal aliens for business
advantage, and deporting illegal immigrants, including visa over-stayers,
who take jobs away from American workers.
The Administration is committed to establishing an effective,
nondiscriminatory means of verifying the employment authorization of all
The Administration fully supports the Commission on Immigration
Reform recommendation to test various techniques for improving
workplace verification, including using a new worker's social security
number to confirm work authorization.
Deporting Criminal and Deportable Aliens -- The Clinton
Administration is the first Administration to develop a National
Detention and Removal Program which will:
Triple the number of criminal and other deportable aliens deported
Increase detention capacity by 46 percent.
Reform asylum procedures to deport greater numbers of fraudulent
Assistance to the States
The Federal government and some States shoulder most of the
inherited costs because of failed immigration policies of the past.
Deterring illegal immigration (by border control, worksite
enforcement, and removal of deportable aliens) is the best long-term
solution to keep costs from growing far beyond that which the Federal
government and a few States face today.
This is the first Administrationto address its responsibility to
control illegal immigration squarely and lessen future burdens on
This Administration has a vision of shared responsibility for the costs
of illegal immigration. It is the first to obtain fundingfrom Congress
to reimburse States for a share of the costs of incarcerating criminal
aliens, in addition to assisting with education and medical care
Denying Public Benefits -- The Clinton Administration believes that:
Illegal aliens should not be eligible for public services or
welfare benefits. The only exceptions include matters of general public
health and safety, such as emergency medical services, immunizations and
temporary disaster assistance, and every child's right to a public
The Clinton Administration is reviewing ways to improve benefit
eligibility verification to crack down on welfare fraud by illegal
Legal Immigrants Strengthen Our Country
Our country welcomes those who fear persecution in their
homeland and those who come here to work hard and play by the rules. The
Clinton Administration is working to help legal immigrants become
citizens and to participate and contribute fully as members of our
national community. We are increasing public education about applying
for citizenship, improving customer service to ease the application
process and reforming procedures to reduce backlogs.
Discrimination can deny legal immigrants the opportunity
to fully participate and contribute in our communities. This
Administration is serious about fighting discrimination that denies
opportunities to legal immigrants.