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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 immigration
laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to
-- President Clinton 1995 State of the
Illegal Immigration - An Inherited Problem
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.
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, increasing the overall Border personnel by 51% since
1993, and 60% 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 new employees.
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 since 1993.
Increase detention capacity by 46 percent.
Reform asylum procedures to
deport greater numbers of fraudulent asylum seekers.
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 Administration
to address its responsibility to control illegal immigration squarely and thereby curtail the cause of increased burdens on States.
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 costs.
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 education.
The Clinton Administration is reviewing ways to improve benefit eligibility verification to crack down on welfare fraud by illegal aliens.
Legal Immigrants Strengthen 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 these opportunities to legal immigrants.