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AILA Praises President Obama's Resolve to Move Forward on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10070136 (posted Jul. 1, 2010)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, July 1, 2010
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org

Jenny Levy
202-507-7628
jlevy@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed President Obama’s appeal to Congress for a bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system Thursday, in a speech delivered at American University School of International Service. “We value the President’s continued support for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR),” said David Leopold, newly elected president of AILA. “President Obama continues to show great understanding of this complex issue – recognizing that the current immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed. In clear terms the President articulated the disastrous effects to communities and the fabric of our country when states take matters into their own hands.”

Leopold continued, “The President’s attempt to recalibrate the immigration debate in his own terms and to persuade a contentious Congress to break the gridlock and push through federal legislation is to be commended. His willingness to invest precious political capital signals his commitment to CIR that would include a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country while also strengthening border security. We hope to see concrete efforts soon from both the White House and Congress to get the job done.”

AILA believes it’s time for both Republicans and Democrats to join together and show they have the will to fix our broken immigration system once and for all. It’s time to put smart policy ahead of partisan politics. Any effective, long-term solution to the immigration issue must: 1) require the unauthorized population to come out of the shadows, register their presence with the government, and give them the opportunity to earn legal status; 2) provide fair and lawful ways for American businesses to hire much-needed immigrant workers who help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition and all workers from exploitation; 3) reduce the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family based and employment-based immigration; 4) ensure the permanent immigration system provides adequate visas to meet the needs of American families, businesses, and communities; and 5) preserve and restore the fundamental principles of due process and equal protection while protecting our national security.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.