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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 31, 2000
                       REGISTRY DATE LEGISLATION

Today the Administration is sending to Congress legislation that amends section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to allow qualified long-term migrants who have resided in the United States since 1986 to become lawful permanent residents.

The INA registry provision has existed in this country since 1929 and has enabled many long time migrants in the United States to develop substantial ties to this country including the establishment of families, homes, and communities. Despite the fact that the registry has changed several times since 1929, the last time being 1972, many long-time migrants still remain outside mainstream society. I believe that revising the registry date from 1972 to 1986 would not only provide humanitarian relief to many long-term migrants, but also reduce or eliminate the need to continue litigating some of the large class actions still lingering from the 1986 legalization program. I commend leaders in Congress on this issue: Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) as well as Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

The Administration is committed to the overall fair and even-handed treatment to immigrants with substantial ties to this country. This legislation ensures that they will remain a vital part of our society for years to come. That is why I urge Congress to give this important legislative proposal a prompt and favorable consideration.