Frelinghuysen Comments on Immigration Proposal

Date: Jan. 9, 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Immigration

Frelinghuysen Comments on Immigration Proposal

Washington, DC - Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) today issued the following statement regarding President Bush's immigration reform proposal:

"I respect the President for seeking to address a badly broken immigration system. I share with him the belief that we are a welcoming nation, and quite literally, a nation of immigrants.

I am well aware of how hard so many undocumented immigrants work among us, doing the hardest of labor. My office deals with hundreds of such family and individual situations each year - as many use the legal channels available to work for extended periods, unite their loved ones, and in many cases seek to become U.S. citizens. In fact, 75 percent of the constituent casework my New Jersey office handles is related to immigration issues.

I also respect the President for keeping his promise to Mexican President Vicente Fox since both are close friends and Texas and Mexico share common borders.

I am not prepared to support a general amnesty for possibly as many as 15 million undocumented aliens. Without additional safeguards, this Presidential proposal may well increase the flow of illegal immigrants and only aggravate our own unemployment situation.

In 1986, President Reagan acted with the same compassionate motives and resolve. That 1986 amnesty program gave legal status to 2.7 million undocumented aliens. Seventeen years later, we have more than fives times as many that President Bush seeks to assist."