Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99032859 (posted Mar. 28, 1999)"
March 28, 1999
Letter to the Editor
Re:“Maybe she should resign”
Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-San Antonio) March 28 response to INS Commissioner
Doris Meissner’s editorial on the 1996 law (“1996 Immigration law overreached,”
March 22) was perplexing– apparently Mr. Smith does not recognize the law he
himself crafted in 1996.
It was Congress, not Ms. Meissner that enacted a law that requires the INS to
indiscriminately round up and deport immigrants who committed even minor
offenses—past or present.It was Congress that failed to take into account that,
as a result of this law, U.S. families, businesses and communities would be
hopelessly torn apart.
As Ms. Meissner correctly pointed out, persons who have committed and paid
the price for minor offenses years before the law’s enactment—and who have since
led model, productive lives—are being captured by the law’s sweeping scope. What
more evidence does Congress need that the 1996 immigration law went too far?
I relive the nightmare of this law every time I am confronted with the
prospect of my husband being swept up in this immigration dragnet simply because
he was not born in America. The 1996 immigration law and Mr. Smith’s relentless
attacks on immigrants do not reflect America—a nation of fairness and justice.
Mr. Smith’s should take steps to amend the 1996 law in a way that would
preserve the stability of American families and businesses. Rather than attack
an agency that is simply trying to enforce an ill-conceived law, Mr. Smith
should exercise compassion and common sense and work to change the law.