On 20th Anniversary of IIRIRA, Immigrant Rights Groups Call on Bill Clinton to Join “Bring Jose Back” Petition
The 1996 immigration bill (IIRIRA), signed by President Bill Clinton, is responsible for family’s separation
(Long Beach, CA) On Tuesday morning, immigrant rights groups sent a letter to former President Bill Clinton asking that he join a petition in support of a father of six children who was deported to Mexico earlier this year. The letter, sent two weeks before the 20 year anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), calls the case “emblematic of the problems caused by IIRIRA.”
“It doesn’t make sense for the same government I have served under to shun and deport my father,” said Jorge Alvarez, son of Jose Alvarez, a seven year veteran of the U.S. Marines. “The principles of hard work and integrity that inspired me to enlist, are the very principles that my father taught me. I hope our leaders responsible for these deportations would recognize this, and help reunite our family.”
The letter states in part:
“We are directing our attention to you, President Clinton, because you signed into law the federal bill that is responsible for keeping Mr. Alvarez from his children. This same legislation has destroyed countless other families. More than any other single law, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) is responsible for the terrible conflation of immigration and criminal law that fused together mass deportations and mass incarceration. Mr. Alvarez’s case is emblematic of the problems caused by IIRIRA and the need for reform.”
The letter was co-authored by the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization, the National PICO Network (PICO), and National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
Read the full letter to President Clinton here.