Shortfalls of the 1996 Immigration Reform Legislation: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, First Session, April 20, 2007 [open pdf - 2MB]
From the opening statement of Zoe Lofgren: "Vigorous enforcement of the immigration laws is not only necessary, it is our responsibility. We must demand respect for the rules and also secure our borders. In 1996, Congress put forward a plan to enhance the enforcement of our immigration laws. A package of 1996 immigration reform laws further increased the number of Border Patrol agents and technology for border enforcement, required the Border Patrol to build fencing along the border, expanded the grounds of removal, and streamlined the removal process. Those laws created electronic employment verification systems and eliminated eligibility for welfare benefits. Those who wrote the bill, I am sure, meant to positively impact the situation of illegal immigration. Ending illegal immigration is an important goal. But, as we now know, the 1996 Act did not put an end to illegal immigration, not even close to it. The estimated numbers of illegal immigrants living in the United States has risen dramatically since 1996, growing from between 5 million to 6 million people to an estimated 11 million to 12 million today. Until last year, the probability of an illegal border crosser getting caught dropped precipitously since 1996, even as more money and resources were committed to border enforcement. Those crossing the border simply shifted to more remote locations, making apprehension less likely, while also making it more likely that migrants will hire coyotes or die in the desert." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include the following: Douglas S. Massey, Paul W. Virtue, Hiroshi Motomura, Mark Krikorian, Zoe Lofgren, John Conyers, Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee and Steve King.
Serial No. 110-25
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html