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VIDEO: Rep. Foster Joins Gutierrez, Labor, Faith and Civil Rights Advocacy Groups in Denouncing Anti-immigrant Republican Legislation

Jun 18, 2013
Press Release

Foster speaks out against anti-immigrant Republican legislation

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) joined Congressman Luis Gutierrez and representatives from pro-immigrant, labor, faith and civil rights advocacy organizations in denouncing H.R. 2278, the “Strengthen And Fortify Enforcement Act.”

Video of Foster’s remarks is available here:

The legislation, being considered in the Judiciary Committee today, would follow the model of enforcement implemented in Arizona and struck down by the Supreme Court.   It would increase detentions and deportations with legislation that allows for wide spread racial profiling.

More information is available on the legislation here:

Participants in today’s press conference included DREAMers (United We DREAM), National Council of La Raza, AFL-CIO, America's Voice, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Immigration Law Center, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, SEIU and many others.

Below is a full transcript of Foster’s remarks:

At a time when there is a growing consensus from every corner of society, from business groups to religious leaders and every shade of the political spectrum, that it is finally time for comprehensive immigration reform, this kind of legislation is the last thing that we need.

We should not be increasing detention and deportation, especially with the kind of discriminatory practices and legal standards that are included in this bill.

Detention comes at a high cost both for taxpayers and immigrant families who are needlessly torn apart.  Immigration detention costs the United States $2 billion a year.  And then there is the human cost.

Most immigrants in detention are held in county jails or in facilities run by private prison corporations, often hundreds of miles from anyone they know.  Human rights abuses have been well documented at facilities across the country.

This kind of discriminatory legislation has already been rejected by the Supreme Court.

This legislation would increase spending, decrease the capacity for enforcement of actual criminals and needlessly tear families apart.  This is the wrong approach at the wrong time and as you can see here today, even in the rain, there is strong opposition to these short-sighted policies.

This unacceptable legislation does demonstrate one thing – that we cannot continue to ignore our broken immigration system any longer, and we cannot depend on partial fixes.  \

Thank you all