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AILA Applauds Efforts to Honor Contributions of Immigrant Soldiers

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03060540 (posted Jun. 5, 2003)"

American Immigration Lawyers Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Judith Golub
jgolub@aila.org
(202) 216-2403

June 5, 2003

Honoring the Contributions of Our Immigrant Soldiers

Washington, DC – The House and Senate yesterday both voted overwhelmingly in support of bills that recognize the contributions made by immigrants in our nation’s military.  Recognizing not only the contributions of these individuals, but the sacrifices of their families, as well, both bills reduce the number of years required for legal permanent residents serving in the military during peacetime to become citizens, and make family members of fallen soldiers eligible for immigration benefits. 

“It is important that we recognize and honor the contributions of our immigrant soldiers,” stated Jack Pinnix, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  “Throughout American history, immigrants have defended America.   They fight to preserve the rights and liberties that led them to adopt our country as their own,” continued Pinnix.”

“The war in Iraq underscores an important reality:  Not only do immigrants contribute to our economy, our culture, and our social fabric, they also put their lives on the line for America. We applaud Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Hilda Solis (D-CA), and Martin Frost (D-TX) for drawing our attention to the issue and sharpening our focus on the contributions that immigrants make to our nation,” said Pinnix.

Differences between the two bills will be resolved when Members of the House and Senate meet in conference.  “We hope the measure that comes out of conference reflects the Senate bill’s more comprehensive benefits to the family members of fallen soldiers, and drops a provision in the House bill that would revoke citizenship,” concluded Pinnix.

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Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides its Members with continuing legal education, information, and professional services. AILA advocates before Congress and the Administration and provides liaison with the INS and other government agencies. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association.

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