ACLU Celebrates History and Promise of Ellis Island, Urges Sensible, American Approach to Immigration

March 30, 2007 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today praised a field hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law on immigration. The hearing, “Past, Present, and Future: A Historic and Personal Reflection on American Immigration,” was held on historic Ellis Island.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“For many, Ellis Island is one of the greatest symbols of American immigration and, indeed, a symbol of America itself. It is fitting that Chairwoman Lofgren is holding a hearing at this historic location. Ellis Island represents the promise of our country to anyone who enters. Unfortunately, the government’s current immigration policy is failing that promise. Our courts can hold legal immigrants indefinitely and deport them for reasons as superficial as misfiling paperwork.

“There is no easy answer to immigration reform, but we all understand the system is broken. The government’s reactionary policies are simply making the crisis worse. We need a system based on American values of fairness and responsibility. America can only benefit from an evenhanded and reasonable approach to immigration reform.”

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