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Frank set Record Straight on Inaccurate Immigration Claims

Location: Washington, DC


Congressman Barney Frank issued the following statement today:

Several of my right wing political opponents have recently made the entirely inaccurate claim that immigration legislation on which I worked in the 1980s through 1990 is somehow connected to the entry into this country of the 9/11 terrorists. This is totally untrue, as a reading of the actual legislation and the 9/11 Commission report makes abundantly clear. But, because these charges - even though they have been rejected by sensible journalists - continue to be spread by extremists who deliberately ignore the documents refuting their smears, I thought it would be a good idea to post the relevant documents on my office web site, so people would have the opportunity to review for themselves the history of the legislation. Accordingly, I have attached here copies of two memos that my office sent out in 2004 that wholly refute the claims about any link between my legislation and the 9/11 conspirators. In addition, I have included copies of the actual documents that are referenced in the memos.

There is one new - and equally inaccurate - claim that I also want to comment on. Some conservatives have suggested that I am no longer on the Homeland Security Committee because of the immigration legislation on which I worked. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, I am prohibited, under House Democratic Caucus rules, from serving on a second permanent, standing committee of the House. When I became the senior Democrat on Financial Services in January of 2003, I was required to give up my seat on the House Judiciary Committee, a standing committee of the House At the same time, I was able to join the Homeland Security Committee, because it was constituted initially in 2003 as a "select" committee, meaning that it was a committee that didn't have permanent, standing status. This allowed me to serve on Homeland Security during 2003 - 2004, even though I was also senior Democrat on Financial Services.

When the Homeland Security Committee became a permanent committee at the beginning of this year, a change in its status that I supported, it was no longer possible under House Democratic Party rules for me to continue as a member. Thus, there is a very simple explanation, which was reported by some Massachusetts newspapers, for why I am no longer on the Homeland Security Committee, as opposed to the bizarre claim that I was removed because of the immigration legislation.

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