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Public Statements

Frank Introduces Bill to End Automatic Immigration Status for Cuban Immigrants upon Reaching U.S. Soil

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Location: Washington, DC


Frank Introduces Bill to End Automatic Immigration Status for Cuban Immigrants upon Reaching U.S. Soil

Congressman's goal is to create a uniform immigration policy; Open border with Cuba undermines consistent immigration policy

Congressman Barney Frank introduced legislation today to end special treatment for Cuban immigrants. Under a unique provision of U.S. immigration law, any Cuban immigrant who reaches American territory is in effect given the right to stay here. Frank pointed out that no other nationality is guaranteed the automatic right of immigration status and citizenship. In the debate about immigration, a number of Members of Congress and others have decried the concept of "open borders," and have called for measures to remedy what they believe to be excessive laxity in our immigration controls. But nowhere in the debate is a restructuring of the rules that favor Cuban immigrants.

"I do not believe that granting this special status to Cubans can be justified, and it is certainly inconsistent with the argument of those who complain that we are too lax in our rules as to who may come to the U.S. from foreign countries," said Congressman Frank. "Allowing any Cuban citizen in effect who can get here physically to gain permanent entry seems to me wholly inconsistent with the calls for stricter immigration controls."

Frank continued: "while I strongly believe in the right of people to receive asylum here in the U.S. if they are being persecuted by undemocratic regimes elsewhere, and while the Cuban government is clearly a very undemocratic regime that engages in such persecution of its political opponents, there is no other case in the world where we now give automatic entry to anyone from a particular country without requiring that individual to meet the - increasingly strict - standards for refugee status."

http://www.house.gov/frank/cubastatus2006.html

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