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Washington, D.C. 20425

September 1980



he United States Commission on Civil Rights transmits this report to you arsuant to Public Law 85–315, as amended. he Tarnished Golden Door: Civil Rights Issues in Immigration is based on a ommission hearing in Washington, D.C., in November 1978 and on months of "search preceding and following that hearing. The report examines the current nmigration system and the civil rights problems encountered in that system by .merican residents, particularly those citizens and aliens who are racially and alturally identifiable with major immigrant groups. Although the United States as been variously characterized as “a nation of immigrants” and a “melting pot,” rangers migrating to its shores have often met resistance from previous enerations of immigrants. In part, this resistance is reflected in current immigraon laws, procedures, and practices that often fail to accord these peoples the onstitutional safeguards available to other United States citizens, America's "old" nmigrants. jenerally, the report reaches two conclusions: current immigration laws still ontain discriminatory provisions, and current immigration laws and the practices nd procedures for the enforcement of those laws result in the denial of the rights f American citizens and aliens. To remedy the problems that led to these onclusions, the report offers recommendations for improving immigration law and rocedure. ome of the specific problems discussed in this report will require legislative emedies, while others may be solved more readily by administrative action. It is ur hope that this report, with its findings and recommendations, will prompt nmediate corrective action, for we believe that American residents with ethnic haracteristics similar to major immigrant groups have suffered too long from the urdens attendant upon immigrant or alien status in American society.


rthur S. Flemming, Chairman
tephen Horn, Vice Chairman
'rankie M. Freeman
Tanuel Ruiz, Jr.
Turray Saltzman

Louis Nuñez, Staff Director


chard Baca, former General Counsel, had overall responsibility for designing nd planning the first half of the project. Reita P. Pendry, former Assistant General bunsel, coordinated initial field investigations. Field investigations were done by je following current and former staff members of the Office of General Counsel: eita P. Pendry, Nicasio Dimas, Jr., Linda Huber, Debra Miron, Donald Chou, ad Phyllis K. Fong. Prior to the national hearing, Nicasio Dimas, Jr., former ting Assistant General Counsel, became the project director and guided the

oject through the completion of the first draft of the report. The report was itten by Nicasio Dimas, Jr., Donald Chou, and Phyllis K. Fong. During the tter stages of the drafting of this report, Donald Chou, attorney-advisory, sumed the duties of project director. Eileen Stein, General Counsel, provided the verall supervision for the final preparation of the report. Editorial and technical assistance were provided by: Carol-Lee Hurley, Laura Chin, Jack Hartog, Emily Marwell, Debra Schirm, Newton Chu, Gloria Gonzalez, Michael Kramer, Maria Echaveste, Marlene Cintron, Alvin Matthews, Nina G. Rosoff, Helen Loukas, and Shirley Hill Witt. Assistance was also provided by: Lorraine W. Jackson, Treola J. Grooms, Ana M. Beitia, Connie Lee, DeBorah Marks, Mary Grose, Brenda Blount, Gwen Morris, Angela Randolph, Stephanie Campbell, Vivian Washington, Vivian Hauser, Deborah Harrison, Audree Holton, and Tanya Wideman.

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