Angus King on Immigration
Independent Former ME Governor
No automated entry-exit control system; allow free flow.
King signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 25-4: INS Data Management Act of 2000 00-NEGC4 on Jul 18, 2000
- WHEREAS, Resolutions 23-8 and 24-1 were adopted by the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in 1998 and 1999 respectively, calling for the full repeal of Section 110 of the U.S. Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996; and
- WHEREAS, the implementation of Section 110, which was set to take effect March 30, 2001, would have required the installation of an automated entry-exit control system at U.S. ports of entry which would have disrupted the flow of goods, services, and people that occurs every day between New England and Eastern Canada; and
- WHEREAS, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers pledged to work vigorously and cooperatively to encourage their respective federal legislatures and governments to remove any requirement to implement entry-exit control beyond airports; and
- WHEREAS, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have overwhelmingly adopted legislation, the Immigration and Naturalization Service Data Management Act of 2000, amending Section 110, requiring the Attorney General of the United States to implement an integrated entry and exit data system using information already collected at U.S. ports of entry, and not requiring the collection of new types of documents or data from aliens;
- NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers commend the U.S. Congress for passing, and President Clinton for signing this legislation into law, thus ensuring that the United States and Canada can continue to maintain the close economic and trade links we currently enjoy.
Share costs of legal immigration between states & federal.
King adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The Governors urge Congress to consider the following principles regarding immigration policies.
- The decision to admit immigrants is a federal one that carries with it a firm federal commitment to shape immigration policy within the parameters of available resources we as a nation are determined to provide.
- The fiscal impact of immigration decisions must be addressed by the federal government. The states, charged with implementing federal policy, have shared and are sharing in the costs; however, there should be no further shift of costs to the states.
- A basic responsibility of the federal government is to collect and disseminate timely and reliable statistical information on immigration and its consequences for the United States.
- Federal immigration policies should ensure that new immigrants do not become a public charge to federal, state, or local governments.
- The federal government must provide adequate information to and consult with states on issues
concerning immigration decisions that affect the states.
- States should not have to incur significant costs in implementing federal laws regarding immigration status as a condition of benefits.
The Governors urge the following regarding Legalization and Naturalization:
Source: NGA policy HR-2: Immigration and Refugee Policy 01-NGA3 on Feb 15, 2001
- States require maximum flexibility in determining and allocating resources to meet the needs of newly legalized aliens.
- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) must be diligent in its efforts to ensure that felons are not naturalized and being given the benefits of citizenship rather than being deported.
- The naturalization process should be streamlined to be more efficient and accessible to eligible applicants wishing to become citizens, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof.
- The INS must take aggressive action to eliminate the backlog of naturalization applications, which is now approximately 800,000 nationwide.
Federal government should deal with criminal repatriation.
King adopted the National Governors Association policy:
[Regarding illegal immigration], the Governors continue to call on the federal government to negotiate and renegotiate prisoner transfer treaties to expedite the transfer of criminal aliens in the United States who are subject to deportation or removal. The negotiations for such agreements should focus on:
- ensuring that the transferred prisoners serve the balance of their state-imposed prison sentence;
- removing any requirement that the prisoners consent to be transferred to their countries of origin;
- structuring the process to require that the prisoners serve the remainder of their original prison sentence if they return to the United States; and
- considering economic incentives to encourage countries of origin to take back their criminal citizens.
Additionally, the Governors believe the federal government should:
- increase the use of interior repatriation with countries contiguous to the United States;
- place INS officials in state and local facilities for early identification of potentially deportable aliens - nearer the point of their illegal entry - to ensure formal deportation prior to release; and
- upon the request of a state Governor, place INS officers in state courts to assist in the identification of criminal aliens pending criminal prosecution.
Finally, the Governors are concerned about the large number of deported felons that are returning to the United States. A significant number of the criminal alien felons housed in state prisons and local jails are previously convicted felons who reentered the United States after they were deported. The Governors urge the federal government to provide sufficient funds for proven positive identification systems, like the Automated Fingerprinting Identification System (AFIS), to allow for the expanded use of these systems in the rest of the nation.
Source: NGA policy HR-2: Immigration and Refugee Policy 01-NGA4 on Feb 15, 2001
Page last updated: Nov 21, 2011