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Press Release - Dole Letter to Gingrich and Senator Lott About Immigration Bill

September 23, 1996

The prosperity and freedom of our country, with all its opportunities has made America a magnet for immigration.

We cherish legal immigrants. Americans can take pride in accepting more legal immigrants than all the other countries in the world combined.

Unfortunately, the growing problem of illegal immigration is undermining our nation's social fabric. The current flood of illegal immigrants is swamping our health and educational systems, draining the tax revenues of state and local governments, and imposing new burdens on the law-abiding public. Father Theodore Hesburgh, former President of Notre Dame University, was right when he warned that we must close the back door of illegal immigration, so we can keep open the front door of legal immigration.

The State of California has been particularly hard hit by illegal immigration. Today, California's taxpayers pay billions of dollars for social services for people who legally have no right to be in the Golden State.

California's citizens find themselves waiting in line behind illegal immigrants for much-needed health services. Providing health care services to illegal immigrants,costs the State of California more than $ 370 million annually.

California's children find themselves with 58,000 fewer teachers and one million fewer classroom computers so illegal immigrants can use California's educational system without charge. Providing educational services to illegal immigrants costs the State of California more, than $ 2 billion annually.

California's welfare system is much larger and its tax burden much heavier because of illegal immigrants with false papers who doubly break the law-first, by entering America illegally and, then, by receiving welfare illegally.

California's taxpayers are further burdened by state prisons filled in large part with illegal aliens who have committed felonies while they are illegally in the United States. Incarcerating illegal- immigrant felons costs the State of California more than $ 500 million annually.

In many ways, the wonderful California quality of life is being threatened by the flood of illegal immigration.

That is why I supported Proposition 187, a state ballot initiative endorsed by nearly 60% of California's voters in 1994, which would allow California to restrict access to publicly-financed state and local government services. Now the subject of a court challenge, Proposition 187 has yet to be implemented.

To enhance Proposition 187's prospects in court and to ensure its ultimate implementation, I support the "Gallegly amendment," a provision of the illegal immigration reform bill that would allow each state to set its own public education policies towards illegal immigrants. Without the Gallegly amendment, each state will be powerless to set its own educational priorities and will continue to be forced to cover the costs of the federal mandate created by the Supreme Court's Plyler v. Doe derision.

Unfortunately, President Bill Clinton -- urged on by his liberal allies in Congress -- has made clear that he will veto any illegal immigration reform measure if it contains the Gallegly amendment. In this way, the President is standing in the way of the full implementation of Proposition 187.

What's the lesson here? The lesson is that the liberals and their policies are wrong for California and wrong for America.

It is wrong for the liberal Democrats led by a liberal President to deny Americans illegal immigration reform. And it is wrong for them to force the citizens of California to continue to pay billions of dollars for social services for illegal immigrants, when controlling illegal immigration is the federal government's responsibility.

Yet, regrettably, the liberals have the power to do both -- through a filibuster in the Senate and through a veto by President Clinton.

Therefore, I recommend the following steps to the Congress:

First, separate the Gallegly amendment from the current illegal immigration reform bill. Report the revised illegal immigration reform bill and pass it in the House and Senate. It contains many important provisions that will help reduce illegal immigration. I call on President Clinton to sign the revised bill once it is sent to him.

Second, send the Gallegly amendment to the President as a separate measure. The bottom line is that the citizens of California should be allowed to implement Proposition 187 without further delay.

To eliminate any danger of children being kicked out of school, the implementation date for lifting the unfunded federal mandate should be moved to July 1, 1997. In this way, any child enrolled in school for the current school year will be grandfathered. And persons seeking to enter the United States illegally in the future will now be on notice that they have no claim on the American taxpayer.

Surely, even tax-and-spend liberals will concede that we should not create a social services magnet to attract more people to America.

Surely, even liberals would concede that Washington should not cheat the children of California or any other state, by imposing an unfunded mandate on their parents stud their schools.

The Congress should pass the revised illegal immigration reform bill and it should then pass legislation permitting implementation of Proposition 187.

President Clinton should sign both measures.

However, if the liberal Democrats in Congress block consideration of the second measure, then the citizens of California will know whom to blame -- a liberal President who fools no compunction about inflicting a multi-billion dollar burden on California's taxpayers.

Sincerely,

BOB DOLE

Robert Dole, Press Release - Dole Letter to Gingrich and Senator Lott About Immigration Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/316566

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