LULAC Calls for Passage of Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act Before Adjournment

Contact: Scott Gunderson Rosa, (202) 833-6130
For Immediate Release: October 19,, 2000

Washington, D.C. -- The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today urged Congress to include the three provisions that are the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act (LIFA) in the final version of the Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations Bill. LIFA would successfully stabilize the immigration status of up to 800,000 immigrants who have been living, working, paying taxes and raising families in the United States for many years.

"Immigrants in this country contribute more to the economy and well-being of America than they ever get credit for," said Rick Dovalina, LULAC National President. "This legislation would make up for many years of contributions and allow thousands of immigrants to finally feel like they belong here."

LIFA's provisions would: (1) establish legal parity between Central Americans and Caribbean refugees; (2) update the "registry" date so that long-time resident, deeply-rooted immigrants who have been in this country since before 1986 will qualify to remain here permanently; (3) restore Section 245 (i) of the Immigration Act, a provision that sensibly allows persons in the U.S. who are on the verge of gaining their immigration status to remain in the U.S. while completing the process.

"The country as a whole stands to benefit from the passage of this legislation," said Brent Wilkes, LULAC Executive Director. "There is clearly a shortage of workers and without immigrants, the economic boom we have experienced over the last eight years may not continue."

There are many Latino legal permanent residents in this country, but more importantly, there are many Latino U.S. citizens ­ some who are immigrant, some who are native born ­ who have family members in situations that could improve dramatically with passage of the LIFA legislation.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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