Part of President Clinton's Speech Concerning Illegal Immigration

(The parts on Crime and Drug Control were removed)

Author:The White House


Illegal immigration is a continuing problem which threatens this country's immigrant traditions and reduces the ability of State and local governments to provide quality human services. The public has lost confidence in the Federal Government's ability to handle this problem. It is, therefore, imperative that the Federal Government take its responsibility for controlling the border seriously. In order to maintain fiscal and economic security, and turn the rising tide of negative sentiment against all immigrants, the Federal Government must take aggressive measures to secure the border and curb illegal immigration.

This Administration pledges to continue its leadership in finding solutions to this important and controversial problem. The President's goal for reforming the immigration system is straightforward: rebuild and revitalize the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the agency which has primary responsibility for immigration control.


                (Budget authority; dollar amounts in billions)

                                                                Dollar  Percent
                             1990     1993     1994     1995   Change:  Change:
                            Actual   Actual  Enacted Proposed  1994 to  1994 to
                                                                 1995     1995
Immigration and
 Naturalization Service
 (includes Crime Control
 Fund and mandatory
 funding)................      1.2      1.6      1.7      2.1     +0.4     +22%

The 1995 budget proposes $2.1 billion for the INS. This represents a 22 percent increase over its 1994 level. The Administration's 1995 Border Security and Illegal Immigration Control initiative will cost $368 million, which includes an investment of $327 million for critical immigration control programs and $41 million for other Justice bureaus to support INS activities.

Pressing Immigration Problems--The President's Border Security and Illegal Immigration Control Plan

Approximately 3.2 million undocumented persons currently live in our communities. The INS estimates that this population increases by almost 300,000 illegal aliens annually. The majority of these illegal migrants enter through the Southwest border.

Past attempts to curb illegal immigration have had limited success. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), which included employer sanctions, was intended to reduce the attraction of employment in this Nation for illegal migrants. The Act also authorized substantial increases in Border Patrol strength to prevent unauthorized entry. However, these and other well-intentioned enforcement measures have not been forcefully implemented. In large part, the INS has lacked the leadership and resources to fulfill its missions.

The President has a comprehensive plan which will "reinvent" the INS so that it can solve its problems and produce visible results. This past summer the President sought new authority to control illegal immigration. He asked for:

The President also proposed:


         (Increased budget authority in millions of dollars)

Border Control.................................................    181
Expedited Deportation (for criminal aliens)....................     55
Asylum Reform and Deportation (for those denied asylum)........     64
Increased Enforcement (employer sanctions).....................     38
Promote Naturalization (for eligible aliens)...................     30
  Total........................................................    368
Increasing Border Controls

The border control initiative requires $181 million to strengthen our ability to apprehend and return illegal aliens to their country of origin. This prevention strategy provides necessary resources for the Border Patrol to take better command of the current illegal flow. The success of the pilot Special Operation in El Paso is exemplary of this targeted approach. More agents will provide a visible presence at high-risk border areas to deter illegal entry. This initiative also contains a significant technology enhancement that will enable most of the INS components to analyze intelligence, dismantle alien smuggling operations, and reduce illegal immigration generally. With the proper combination of sophisticated technology and people, the INS should be able to reduce illegal entry more effectively and regulate border admissions fairly and efficiently.

As another part of this initiative, significant resources will be devoted to upgrading the capability of the INS to communicate electronically with the State Department and other Government agencies so that it can control admissions at ports of entry more effectively. In addition, with implementation of the Administration's plan to improve management coordination between the INS and the Customs Service (a National Performance Review recommendation) we can more effectively reduce illegal alien and drug entries.

Deporting Criminal Aliens

Foreign-born nationals (Mario's note: legal and illegal immigrants. Also, legal immigrants lose their immigrant status after committing a felony crime and become illegal.) represent approximately 11 percent of the inmate population in the five largest immigration-affected states and 25 percent of the Federal inmate population. Those foreign-born non-resident aliens who have committed aggravated felonies are subject to deportation. However, many illegal immigrants who are convicted felons are released into local communities. This problem is intolerable and the Administration is committed to removing these deportable criminal aliens as expeditiously as possible. This budget includes $55 million to enable the INS to deport up to 20,000 more criminal aliens annually, once fully operational.

Reforming Asylum and Deporting Fraudulent Applicants

The 1995 budget requests $64 million to implement the President's pledge to reform the asylum system. This proposal will complement the Justice Department's efforts to streamline asylum procedures. It will more than double the capability of asylum officers, immigration judges, and attorneys to handle the backlogged cases as well as the significant number of new cases received annually. The current, overwhelmed asylum system has no prospects for adjudicating these cases in a timely fashion. As a result, virtually anyone who applies for asylum receives work authorization, while the case is pending. The asylum system is increasingly vulnerable to abuse by ineligible applicants. Enactment of the Administration's reform proposal will permit deportation of those fraudulent applicants whose cases are adjudicated and denied.

Implementing Employer Sanctions and Anti-Discrimination Laws

The budget proposes $38 million to enforce the employer sanctions and anti-discrimination provisions of existing law. This is almost double what is currently spent on this activity. Sanctions will discourage the illegal employment of undocumented aliens, thus reducing the U.S. employment "magnet effect." The INS will increase investigation and prosecution of fraudulent document vendors who undermine the effectiveness of employer sanctions. The INS will conduct a national campaign to investigate industries that have been the worst violators of the sanctions law. In addition, the budget provides resources to streamline the employment document verification process.

Government must be sensitive to the civil rights of employees. Reducing discrimination against citizens and legal aliens and protecting their rights are integral parts of this initiative. Resources will be available to provide grants to community-based organizations for anti-discrimination education. In addition, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices will expand its efforts to prosecute those employers who discriminate against "foreign-sounding" and "foreign-looking" individuals in the hiring process.

Promoting Naturalization Benefits

Finally, the President's comprehensive plan calls for $30 million to increase the naturalization of eligible immigrants. The majority of immigrants do not naturalize when eligible. Within the next several years, about three million people will become eligible for citizenship. There are potentially five million other legal aliens who have immigrated to the United States since 1965, but have not taken advantage of naturalization benefits. This initiative will bolster the integration of newcomers into society and help counteract anti-immigrant sentiment. With these new resources, the INS will ensure that the naturalization benefits are provided correctly, courteously, and compassionately to all persons eligible. Furthermore, the INS will distribute grants for the first time to community-based and educational organizations to assist applicants in completing the applications, instruct them in civics and language proficiency, and conduct certified testing on behalf of the INS.

These investments in the immigration system will increase the security of our borders against the detrimental effects of illegal immigration. This 1995 budget is an important step forward in the President's efforts to pursue an aggressive and comprehensive immigration control program.

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