Frank Comments on Latest Immigration Developments; Calls for Comprehensive Reform Legislation
Congressman Barney Frank noted that two important events relating to immigration coincided today on Capitol Hill: a hearing featuring family members who were separated from their children during the recent immigration enforcement action in New Bedford, and the unveiling in the U.S. Senate of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
"The discussion at today's hearing of the enforcement action's impact on small children and families, as well as its effect on the New Bedford economy, underlined the need for legislation along the lines of the bill introduced today in the Senate," Frank said. "The hearing made clear that among the problems with the current system is the very difficult situation in which it places immigration enforcement agents. The unfairness of this situation is one more reason why I believe the choice before Congress is clear: it is either more than 30,000 repetitions of the March New Bedford enforcement action -- with all the economic and social disruptions, and the impact on taxpayers that these actions would cause -- or passage of comprehensive legislation of the sort introduced today."
The families presented testimony at a forum entitled "A Children's Hearing," which was organized by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). The witnesses made their comments to leaders of a number of children's, family and civil rights organizations. Frank was unable to attend the hearing because, as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, he was managing a major bill dealing with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the House floor.