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Panel to Tackle Immigration Policy in Albuquerque Saturday

April 27, 2007

Albuquerque - American immigration policy is out of line with American values, according to Peter Simonson of the ACLUof New Mexico, who will moderate a free panel discussion on the topic Saturday. He says sending the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States home is an impossible proposition.

“The real alternative is to create policies, create laws that allow immigrants to come out of the shadows and allow them to become contributing members of our society.”

Simonson points out that the Constitution requires immigrants to follow our laws, but it also gives them certain protections under the law. Those who favor more conservative reform say immigrants are an economic drain on many social programs.

Rachel LaZar with the Center for Equality and Rights will be one of Saturday's panelists. She says all Americans should be concerned about the effects of the current crackdown on immigration.

“This has created not only a lot of fear, but it has led to racial profiling and concerns about human rights and civil rights violations as well.”

The panel also includes State Rep. Ken Martinez and Lisa Graybill from the ACLU of Texas, who will speak about conditions at a facility in Taylor, Texas where immigrant families are held. The panel discussion begins at 10 a.m. at Central New Mexico Community College.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NM