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H.R. 4437 Passes in the House of Representatives

By March 30, 2006No Comments

Downloadable:English and Korean press statements


December 17, 2005                Contacts: EunSook Lee, NAKASEC  (323) 937.3703
For Immediate Release                Dae Joong Yoon, KRC  (323) 937.3718
                         Kent Chaegu Lee, KRCC  (773) 506.9158
                                               Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC  (718) 460.5600

Anti-Immigrant “Border Protection” Bill
Passes in the House

[Los Angeles, CA]  On December 16, 2005, the House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 239 to 182, the “Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act” (H.R. 4437), sponsored by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Peter King (R-NY).

The harsh and overreaching provision in H.R. 4437 will criminalize our nation’s undocumented population, including 1.6 million children, and punish anyone who has contact with undocumented immigrants.  In order to prosecute undocumented immigrants, a massive criminal infrastructure would be required to put on trial, imprison, and deport millions living in the U.S.  

The final version of H.R. that passed will also:
· Displace many workers and disrupt the economy by requiring all businesses, unions and workplace development programs to use a flawed and unworkable employment verification system
· Mandate the building of a 700-mile fence along the southwest border
· Send a chilling-effect throughout immigrant communities and endanger public safety by requiring local law enforcement, such as the police, to act as immigration enforcement agents
· Eliminate the federal court’s authority to review Department of Homeland Security denials of many types of naturalization applications

“This harsh enforcement-only bill will only serve to tear many more families apart by deporting the parents of 3 million U.S. citizen children, drive workers further into an underground economy and permanently bar many hardworking immigrants from becoming part of American society,” said Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles.

Mr. Yoon continued, “In a span of ten days from the introduction to the passage of H.R. 4437, immigrant communities nationwide generated unprecedented activity in opposition to the anti-immigrant bill resulting in closer vote than anticipated. Hundreds in the Korean American community made their voices heard by calling their members of the House to urge them to vote against this dangerous and punitive bill.”  

“Our communities are extremely disheartened and troubled that the House moved swiftly, without careful consideration and meaningful debate, to pass this shortsighted and far-reaching bill that will alter the immigration system for decades to come and consequently have a devastating impact on all Americans,” said Eun Sook Lee, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium.  Ms. Lee continued, “Furthermore, we are extremely disappointed that the White House has decided to appease a vocal and extreme minority by showing its support for H.R. 4437.  As the Senate is expected to consider immigration reform proposals early next year, we will continue to advocate for comprehensive and workable immigration reform, such as the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, sponsored by Senators McCain and Kennedy.”

A rally to protest the passage of H.R. 4437 is scheduled to take place on December 22nd (location to be announced).