LULAC Disappointed in Congressman Sensenbrenner

Milwaukee, WI — Today, Congressman Sensenbrenner is holding one of a series of town halls where he expounds on his version of what immigration reform should look like. As part of an anti-immigrant campaign, Congressman Sensenbrenner has sensationalized border enforcement without taking into account the expense to taxpayers, the needs of law enforcement, or the cost to human life such a policy would entail should it be passed into law. HR 4437, commonly referred to as the Sensenbrenner bill, does nothing but criminalize the undocumented and those who provide them with assistance and advance a type of failed border policy that did not work when it was originally designed to combat the drug wars.

Since 1993, when the Clinton administration began to crack down on border crossings in San Diego and El Paso, more than 3,500 people have died trying to cross into the United States through the desert. Yet, according to Border Patrol statistics, although the death toll has steadily grown annually, the number of those apprehended while crossing the border has not changed significantly. However, because federal agencies have tightened the border in urban areas, the coyotes or smugglers who transport the men, women and children seeking to enter the United States illegally have funneled them onto increasingly dangerous areas where temperatures are high, water is scarce and danger is abundant.

“If Congressman Sensenbrenner were serious about addressing the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, he would draft policy that attempts to address the root of the problem, which is a broken immigration system that is so outdated and unworkable, it encourages illegal immigration,” said LULAC National President Hector Flores. “Instead the congressman insists on simply focusing on an enforcement-only style approach that is costly, highly ineffectual, and deadly. Holding town halls featuring himself as the sole speaker do not allow the community to express their concerns or to ask questions. It is a travesty.”

Over the past few months, LULAC has invited Congressman Sensenbrenner to attend various events, including an Immigration Forum and the LULAC National Convention being held in Milwaukee from June 26-July 1.