National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America


House Hearing on Immigration Raids Comes at a Critical Moment

May 21, 2008

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, May 20, 2008, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on immigration and workplace raids, chaired by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). The following is a statement by Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan, pro-immigrant advocacy group in Washington.

This hearing could not come at a more critical moment in the national immigration debate.  The front pages of America’s most important newspapers are detailing the deplorable conditions for immigrants in detention just as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is launching the largest workplace raid in U.S. history in Postville, IA.  These are yet more heart-wrenching examples of the need for a rational and sensible immigration system.

We will not deport our way out of our current immigration mess. We must craft policies that treat individuals and families humanely, address our need for immigrant workers, secure our borders, make sure everyone is playing by the same rules, and make sure that those rules are enforced evenly and professionally.  In the meantime, we must be sure that the agency charged with enforcing the old, broken, and ineffective system is doing so in a way that is consistent with our values and our laws.  Congress must ensure that standards of conduct are followed by our federal agents, due process is afforded, and that basic, humane conditions exist for those detained.

The need for Congressional oversight to dial back the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and introduce some level of accountability for this Administration has never been greater.

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