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Immigration and gang labels



Published: Fri, May 17, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Los Angeles Times: The Senate Judiciary Committee is just beginning its markup of the bipartisan immigration bill, but already opponents and supporters of the sweeping legislation are fighting over which immigrants should be allowed to legalize their status and which should be deported.

Clearly it makes sense to refuse legal status to immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes. But some lawmakers, including Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, are backing a provision that goes too far, excluding immigrants who have no criminal history simply because their names appear in a database of gang members or on a gang injunction.

Keeping immigrants from legalizing their status because of accusations, rather than convictions, is unjust. Gang databases and injunctions are useful but imperfect tools with a troubled history


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