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University of Iowa News Release

March 8, 2006

Ting Discusses Immigration Law In Speech At Iowa Law School

Temple University law professor and U.S. Senate candidate Jan Ting called for immigration law reform and the building of a fence along the Mexico-U.S. border to limit illegal immigration in an appearance at the University of Iowa College of Law Tuesday.

Ting, who is running for the Republican nomination for the Senate from Delaware, delivered the keynote address at the annual conference of the UI Asian-American Law Student Association in the Boyd Law Building. Ting agreed to participate in the conference before becoming a candidate for the Senate.

Ting discussed his own family's immigration history during his appearance, pointing out that his great aunt was the first to come to the United States and she eventually graduated from the University of Michigan medical school, one of if not the first Chinese woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S.

His own parents immigrated in the 1930s, following the Japanese invasion of China, and became U.S. citizens when his father was in the Army during World War II, after Congress passed a law granting citizenship to all foreign nationals serving in the military. Otherwise, he said, his family did not have a guaranteed future in the U.S. because the race-based exclusionary acts that prohibited immigration from Asian countries, originally passed in the 19th century, were still in effect.

"A history of the Asian-American immigration law is a history of Asian-Americans in the United States," Ting said. "America didn't pass its first immigration laws until the late 19th century, and what prompted the government to consider those first laws? That's when Asians started coming to the United States."

Ting said he believes the United States should still accept legal immigrants from all over the world, but thinks illegal immigration coming over the Mexican border is a threat to the country in many ways. Illegal aliens increase taxes, he said, because they increase the public costs of education, Medicare and public safety. On top of that, he said the porous Mexican border is a threat to national security.

"Tonight, four years after 9-11, millions of people will enter the country illegally, and the government won't know anything about who these people are," he said. "And the same thing will happen tomorrow night, and the night after that." Hiding in that crowd, he said, might be terrorists from al Qaeda or some other organization planning an attack in the United States.

But he said neither President George W. Bush nor the Senate are willing to take the measures he believes are needed to tighten the border. Ting said he supports a bill now under consideration in the House of Representatives that calls for the construction of a fence from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. A fence built near San Diego has proven effective in reducing border jumping, he said, and while a border-long fence would be expensive to build, it would be less expensive than hiring more and more border patrol guards.

Ting, who teaches taxation and immigration law at the Temple University School of Law, was named the 2003 Asian-American Law Professor of the Year by the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Prior to joining the Temple faculty, he was assistant commissioner of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1990 to 1993, during the George H. W. Bush administration.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.