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Condemning the "Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act" H.R. 4437 - and Affirming Commitment to Providing a Safe, Healthy and Dignified Place to Live for All Residents, Regardless of Immigration Status

Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz, NY NHCSL President

Adopted by the Caucus on November 18, 2006

WHEREAS, On December 16th, 2005, the US House of Representatives passed the “Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act” –HR 4437- one of the most deplorable, anti-immigrant bills in this country’s history; and

WHEREAS, HR 4437 proposes, among other things, to automatically turn undocumented immigrants living in the US into aggravated felons; to criminalize US citizens and legal residents who have routine contact with undocumented immigrants; to require day laborer centers and other non-profit organizations to verify workers’ immigration status; to diminish judicial review of immigration courts’ decisions; to make detention of immigrants mandatory; to give the government unfettered discretion to designate gangs and make immigrants deportable as members of gangs even if they have never violated the law; and

WHEREAS, HR 4437 would devastatingly impact immigrant communities and by creating fear, discrimination and abuse of immigrant communities; and

WHEREAS, States welcome and value all of its inhabitants, undocumented, U.S. legal residents and U.S. citizens alike, and wishes them to live free from fear of local, state and federal law enforcement, and to work free from discrimination and exploitation; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators condemns the passage of HR 4437 in the U.S. House of Representatives, and condemns the building of border walls, however supports humane ways to secure the border; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL urges the U.S. Senate (including Senators Boxer and Feinstein) and President Bush to reject HR 4437, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NHCSL urges President Bush, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives to support comprehensive immigration reform that includes keeping families together by decreasing the immigration backlogs and decreasing the barriers for family reunification, and restoring and protecting our communities’ fundamental civil rights/ civil liberties, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL urges other local and state governments to condemn the passage of HR 4437 and recognize the important role immigrants play in strengthening our communities and country.

This resolution was adopted this November 18, 2006, at the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Executive Committee & BBA Annual Meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.