[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[September 30, 1997]
[Page 1277]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]


[[Page 1277]]


Statement on the Report of the Commission on Immigration Reform
September 30, 1997

    The Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by the Honorable 
Shirley Hufstedler and the late Barbara Jordan, issued its final report 
today. This report, which reiterates many of the excellent 
recommendations contained in the Commission's interim reports, further 
contributes to our country's understanding of the role of immigration in 
the United States. I commend the Commission's work and its contribution 
to the national dialog on immigration policy.
    America has always been a nation of immigrants, and I am proud of 
the significant progress my administration has made toward improving 
America's immigration system. My administration has curtailed illegal 
immigration through tougher border control, strengthened worksite 
enforcement, and the removal of record numbers of criminal and other 
illegal aliens. We have also worked to improve and tighten the 
naturalization process and have made needed reforms to our asylum system 
for refugees fleeing persecution.
    One of the Commission's recommendations is to restructure the 
immigration system by reallocating the main functions of the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service to other agencies. This proposal raises 
difficult and complex issues which need further consideration. I have 
asked the Domestic Policy Council to coordinate with the affected 
Federal agencies to evaluate carefully the Commission's proposal and 
other reform options designed to improve the executive branch's 
administration of the Nation's immigration laws.
    With this report, the Commission completes its work. I want to thank 
all of its members and staff for their service and contribution on these 
important issues.