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April 05, 1996 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-04-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ashin toy

Win Some, Lose Some

he news from Con-
gress on the immi-
gration and refugee
front was better than ex-
pected, but Jewish ac-
tivists in the capital
weren't celebrating. The
bill passed by the House,
while omitting a host of
measures aimed at legal
immigrants and a puni-
tive cap on refugees, re-
mains a flawed bill,
according to a number of
Jewish activists.
For weeks, Jewish lobbyists
had lobbied House members
to split the bill, which com-
bined legal and illegal immi-
gration. That linkage, along

with growing public anger creased penalties for smug-
over illegal immigration, gling illegal aliens and a pilot
would make it easier for Con- program for verifying whether
gress to slash even legal im- potential employees are, in
migration programs, they fact, in this country legally —
worried.
all programs aimed at illegal
Jewish groups were part immigrants.
of an odd coalition that in-
It also included a draconian
cluded civil liberties organiza- provision added by House Re-
tions, Christian conservatives publicans that would give
and representatives of big states the right to deny public
business, who argued that cuts education to the children of il-
in legal immigration would legal immigrants.
have a devastating impact
"We're happy that the bill
on American high-tech indus- was split," said Reva Price,
tries.
B'nai B'rith's top lob-
The House agreed;
byist
in Washington.
These c hildren
the result was a split waited to leave the "But this bill is exces-
bill that focuses on new
Soviet Union in
sively punitive toward
19 90.
illegal immigrants;
border controls, in-

it will make it harder for
potential asylees who are flee-
ing oppression in other coun-
tries. The provision on
schooling for the children of il-
legal immigrants is bad public
policy. So it's very much of a
mixed bag."
A few weeks earlier, the
Senate Judiciary Committee
slso split the bill; congression-
al leaders now concede that the
chances of any serious changes
to the legal immigration sys-
tem in this congressional ses-
sion are dim
But limits on the access of
legal immigrants to a host of
social services remain in a
number of other bills. 0

The immigration

bills working

their way

through

Capitol Hill

have pluses

and minuses.

JAMES D. BESSER

WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

CO

rn

C)

LC,

PHOTO BY WZPS

CC

15

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