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January 31, 2005

01/31/05 - IAUC Committed to Defeating Anti-Immigrant Legislation

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Monday, January 31, 2005

For Immediate Release -

Washington, DC - Judge Andrew Somers (ret.), the National President of the Irish American Unity Conference ("IAUC"), has pledged that the IAUC will continue to monitor anti-immigrant legislation and will commit its energies to defeating any proposals that threatens the constitutional rights of our nation's immigrants.

Having helped successfully head off the anti-immigrant proposals to the intelligence reform legislation, the IAUC observes that Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is attempting to reintroduce the failed measures in the REAL ID Act (H.R. 418).

The 9/11 Commissioners have already determined that these measures have little to do with national security or counter-terrorism and are instead targeted at a large section of the immigrant population that poses no threat to national security.

The IAUC believes that far from enhancing the nation's security, the REAL ID Act will increase the numbers of uninsured drivers, thereby making our roadways more dangerous; overturn America's historical as well as international commitments to refugees fleeing persecution; threaten constitutional protections for free speech and free association; and waste more valuable resources on ineffective border security.

The REAL ID Act purports, inter alia, to "prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States," and to "unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal." The IAUC is particularly concerned about those provisions which would result in the removal or inadmissibility of any alien who "endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity."

National President Somers stated: "Once again, Congress has an opportunity to clarify what is meant by 'terrorist activity' and once again it has singularly failed to do so. For a country which sends its servicemen and women to face untold dangers in an interminable 'war on terror' this is absolutely unacceptable."

"We have seen that even the current definition of 'terrorism' contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act is so overbroad that it has targeted Irish nationals and their families who pose no danger to the safety and security of the United States. Now it is proposed that any non citizen who ever supported Irish political prisoners or their families are to be ousted from the United States on the say-so of some low-level bureaucrat. This legislation is most un-American, and the IAUC will not stand for it."

"If some of our Representatives think they can just sign up to another attack on the Constitution dressed up as 'anti-terrorist' legislation, they are in for a rude awakening."

The Irish American Unity Conference is a nationwide, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, U.S. chapter-based human rights organization working for justice and peace in Ireland.



For further information or to send much needed donations:

Irish Deportees of America Committee
P.O. Box 914
Farmington, MI 48332

National Office
611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #4150
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 1-800-947-4282

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