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Public Statements

Kerry Statement On New Immigration Policies

Location: Unknown

January 07, 2004

For Immediate Release

"President Bush promised that America's relationship with Latin America would be a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Until now, he has ignored that promise, breaking faith with Hispanic Americans and Latin America. Bush has also failed to follow through on his promise to work with Vicente Fox, leaving that relationship in tatters.

"Bush's policy rewards business over immigrants by providing them with a permanent pool of disenfranchised temporary workers who could easily be exploited by employers. Bush's proposal fails to address the plight of immigrants coming to work in the United States by not providing a meaningful path to becoming legal permanent residents. And if Bush is really concerned about the plight of immigrants coming to work in the United States he should tell his party to stop the heartless and divisive politics the Republican Party is employing in California to get a new Prop 187 on the ballot for next year's election, and a similar effort in Arizona to victimize immigrants for the failures of government and an unstable economy.

"As president, I will support sensible reform of our immigration system that protects workers and also provides employers with the employees that they need. I will immediately resume our dialogue with President Fox and put in place an earned legalization program that will allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, have been working, and can pass a background check. This makes sense for the economy, provides fairness to people in our communities who have worked hard and paid taxes, and will also allow us to strengthen our homeland security by bringing undocumented workers out of the shadows and into the light of greater accountability."

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