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IMMIGRATION INITIATIVES IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURES STRIKE A BLOW FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT

 WASHINGTON, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the nation's largest immigration reform group, described the flurry of immigration legislation in the California Legislature as "the state's attempt to inject common sense and the principles of good government into a federal policy that has run amok."
 FAIR's California Coordinator Danielle Elliott, who has been called to testify before several committees, rejected the assertion made in the Los Angeles Times that the legislation introduced reflects "anti- immigration" sentiment. "The people of this state want to see sensible reforms made. They want to see illegal immigration controlled and legal immigration reduced substantially," commented Elliott. "What the people of California want is good, effective government, jobs, schools that can educate their children, decent health care and a quality environment. Immigration is an important factor in all aspects of life in California, and it needs to be discussed rationally. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted in an April 19th editorial, unless immigration policies are changed, California's population will grow to 63 million by 2040. If that's not a legitimate topic to be discussed in the state capitol, then they might just as well all pack their bags and go home," said Elliott.
 FAIR has been working on a national level to promote rational immigration policies since 1979. The organization also has three offices in California, representing 15,000 members statewide. Because California receives the largest share of legal and illegal immigration, the organization has taken an active interest in the bills before the California Legislature. "It is important that we keep the debate focused on immigration policy. The problem is a dysfunctional policy that needs a drastic overhaul. By addressing these problems in Sacramento, the Legislature is sending a wake-up call to the people in Washington who are supposed to be making immigration laws that serve the best interests of the American people," stated Elliott.
 FAIR has come out strongly in favor of legislation which would require all jurisdictions within the state to cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws. Because a California driver's license is the key document for proving work eligibility and entitlement to state and federal benefits, FAIR also favors efforts to require applicants to prove they are legal residents of the United States. "Although California has no authority to make immigration laws, these legislative initiatives are entirely within the purview of the Legislature and governor. The people of California have every reason to expect that their elected representatives will act in the best interests of the state," concurred Alan Nelson, former INS commissioner and consultant to FAIR.
 -0- 5/4/93
 /CONTACT: Danielle Elliott, FAIR California coordinator, 916-444-3247, or 213-766-9309/


CO: Federation for American Immigration Reform ST: California IN: SU:

P

TW -- DC035 -- 2153 05/04/93 18:45 EDT
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Date:May 4, 1993
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