Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00062959 (posted Jun. 29, 2000)"
June 27, 2000
Matt Tallmer, Public Affairs Manager
LAWYERS: GOOD FIRST STEP BY BUSH,
BUT WHAT IS TO FOLLOW?
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the national voluntary
association of more than 6,000 attorneys who practice immigration law, today
hailed as a good first step Texas Governor George W. Bush’s comments about
reorganizing the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
yesterday before the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Texas
Governor and presumptive Republican presidential candidate said he supports
legislation to divide the INS into two agencies dealing with enforcement and
adjudications, respectively. Under Governor Bush’s proposal, the agencies
would be headed by an Associate Attorney General for Immigration Affairs, who
would supervise enforcement and adjudications, and ensure that there is a single
consistent legal and policy approach to immigration. AILA endorses separating,
but coordinating, INS enforcement and adjudications, having a single person in
charge who has the clout to set national immigration policy, and adequately
funding both enforcement and adjudications.
are pleased that Governor Bush recognizes that the U.S. needs a single person in
charge of both the enforcement and adjudications functions. We call on him to
endorse our remaining two INS reorganization principles: along with separating
the functions, coordinating the enforcement and adjudication arms; and
ensuring that both agencies receive adequate funding to perform their equally
important functions,” said Jeanne A. Butterfield, AILA’s Executive Director.
are two competing INS reorganization bills in Congress. One, introduced by
Senators Spencer Abraham (R-MI) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), meets all three AILA
principles noted above. The other bill, sponsored by Representatives Hal Rogers
(R-KY), Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), meet none of those
criteria. While Governor Bush declined to endorse a specific bill, his chief
spokesman noted that, “There are no differences between the Governor’s bill
and Senator Abraham’s bill.”
those comments, Butterfield noted: “It is now time for the recalcitrant
Republicans in the House of Representatives to get behind their Party’s
presidential nominee and support INS reorganization that can work. They should
join with Governor Bush and support the Abraham-Kennedy measure.”
AILA applauds Governor Bush’s comments on INS reorganization, and his support
for increasing the number of H-1B visas, Butterfield said that the probable
Republican presidential nominee needs to address other important immigration
immigrant voters can support him, Governor Bush needs to take a position on
these vitally important immigration issues: restoration of Section 245(i), which
would allow eligible people to apply for green cards here, rather than having to
return to their home countries; NACARA parity, thereby treating people from
similar circumstances similarly; and changing the registry date, which would
allow long-term residents to adjust their status, as the United States has done
six times since 1929. Once he speaks out on those issues, immigrants, their
supporters and advocates then can determine that he is a different kind of
Republican,” Butterfield said.