I would agree with Lungren that we have witnessed an erosion in the integrity of our immigration law. We differ significantly as to where the blame for that should be lodged.
I would contend that erosion of the integrity of the law occurs when the United States government persists in the deportation of 300 to 400 Salvadorans a month to the internationally acknowledged jeopardy of their home country on the one hand, and then speedily grants asylum to the family of President Jose Napoleon Duarte on the other. Similar disparities are becoming increasingly evident for all to see.
Erosion of the integrity of the law occurs when Western Regional Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Harold Ezell stoops to irresponsible scapegoating, appeals to public bigotry and paranoia and outright misstatements and fabrications to reinforce this hard-line position. In truth, Ezell is probably the best friend the Sanctuary movement has right now.
On Nov. 27, the Los Angeles City Council responded responsibly to a legitimate immigration concern that has impacted our city more than any other in the country. After the Administration proved unreceptive to a 1983 sense-of-Congress resolution that Salvadorans were deserving of extended voluntary departure status, a bill was introduced to suspend deportations of Salvadorans for a limited period pending a study by the General Accounting Office of their claim to asylum status. The bill continues to languish in Congress after being introduced a second time with a study already prepared by the GAO pointing out why other countries neighboring El Salvador have proven to be unsatisfactory havens from persecution.