PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE CLEAR ACTS

WHEREAS, Representative Charles Norwood (R-GA) has introduced the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act, H.R. 2671 and Senator Jeff Sessions has introduced a similar measure, the Homeland Security Enhancement Act, S. 1906; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 2671 and S. 1906 (the CLEAR Acts) will add federal immigration law enforcement to the list of duties that state and local police carry out; and

WHEREAS, the CLEAR Acts will criminalize civil violations of immigration law; and

WHEREAS, legal authorization to remain in the U.S. is not always susceptible of simple documentary determinations, particularly as applied to applicants for political asylum; and

WHEREAS, the added duties of enforcing federal immigration law will lead immigrants to distrust state and local law enforcement authorities and undermine community policing; and

WHEREAS, the CLEAR Acts will withhold funding otherwise available to state or local law enforcement under other laws for failure to enforce the terms of the Clear Acts; and

WHEREAS, the CLEAR Acts will deplete already dwindling resources devoted to criminal investigation and homeland security; and

WHEREAS, more than fifty (50) state and local jurisdictions across the U.S., including Philadelphia (Philadelphia Police Memorandum 01-06: Departmental Policy Regarding Immigrants), have already adopted ordinances or policies opposing requirements that their police officers enforce federal immigration laws; and

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association unanimously adopted Resolution 105 at its midyear meeting on February 9, 2004, urging the federal government to retain exclusive jurisdiction over civil immigration matters, opposing the delegation of legal authority to state, territorial and local police to enforce federal civil immigration laws, and opposing criminalization of civil violations of immigration law.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes H.R. 2671 and S. 1906, and similar legislation or administrative measures designed to criminalize civil immigration law violations, and to engage state and local police in the investigation, apprehension, detention, and removal of undocumented immigrants.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor or his designee to communicate the content of this resolution to members of Congress, the press, state and local agencies, other bar associations, and members, and the public at large and to take such other action as may be appropriate.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: MAY 4, 2004