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Let's Keep Families Together

Location: Washington, DC

LET'S KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 14, 2005)

MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2005

* Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker. I rise today because legal immigrants and their families need our help.

* As Congress continues to debate ways to address illegal immigration, we must remember the many hard-working legal immigrants that contribute so much to our nation's economy and culture. In Congress' zeal to crack down on illegal immigration, it has unfairly punished many of these legal immigrants.

* That's why I invite all my colleagues to join my fight to reverse certain unfair provisions of so-called ``immigration reforms'' instituted by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. This law has allowed stable, long-term families headed by legal immigrants to be torn apart because of minor crimes committed years ago--crimes for which the offenders have already served their sentences.

* A basic legislative attempt to fix this law was passed by the House of Representatives in the 106th Congress, but it was never taken up by the Senate. So I have re-introduced my ``Keeping Families Together'' Act (H.R. 2865). This bill would reinstate judicial review to the immigration process, restore the definition of aggravated felony that existed prior to 1996, end the practice of automatically detaining productive members of our society for minor crimes they committed years ago and for which they have already served their sentence, and allow legal immigrants previously deported to appeal that decision.

* Please join me in supporting this critical legislation to restore justice to our immigration processes and keep families together.


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