Friday, June 25, 2004

Caribbean Cheers Defeat of Immigration Control Bills

Caribbean News details

WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. June 25: Two additional anti-immigrant amendments, sponsored by the chair of the anti-immigration caucus, Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO), were defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

The first amendment, defeated by a 145 to 262 vote, would have compelled state and local police officers to act as federal immigration agents, or lose federal funding. Should the bill have become law, police officers would have been able to question the immigration status of immigrants, including Caribbeans, and pass undocumented on to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

The second amendment, defeated by a procedural motion, would have denied federal funding to any state that permitted undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license or other comparable identification.

Both were tied to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (H.R.4567) considered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 21.

Advocates lauding the defeat included MALDEF (the Mexican American and Legal Defense Fund), which said it is important for local law enforcement officers to maintain positive relationships with all members of the Latino community.

“Turning local police officers into de facto immigration agents would have a chilling effect on community policing and officer relationships with the Latino community,” explained Katherine Culliton, MALDEF legislative staff attorney.

The defeat of the Tancredo amendments comes on the hell of another defeat in the House – the controversial Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments of 2004 or H.R. 3722, which was introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R-Calif.) –


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