Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 0810033 (posted Oct. 3, 2008)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, October 3, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds the introduction of the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). Repeated incidents of detainee abuse and needless deaths in detention have sparked tremendous concern from members of Congress, the media and community advocates. The introduction of the Roybal-Allard legislation intensifies the drumbeat from members of Congress calling for immediate reform and builds upon a series of recent legislative initiatives calling for an end to the unlawful detention and detainee abuse.
Charles H. Kuck, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association said, "Members of Congress are stepping in to address this human rights crisis in our very own backyard where detainees are dying needlessly while in our nation's custody, women and children are suffering in detention and DHS is running roughshod over individual's rights."
"This crisis is caused by the Administration's efforts to deport large numbers of people without safeguarding basic human rights. The Department of Homeland Security has been operating outside the rule of law- without adequate laws or regulations designed to protect detainees from abuse," Kuck said. "The Roybal-Allard bill and the Menendez-Kennedy legislation would protect people from abuse and would restore some measure of due process to our broken immigration enforcement system."
The Roybal-Allard legislation (H.R. 7255) and the Menendez-Kennedy legislation (S. 3594) would both require DHS to implement regulations governing their treatment of detainees to ensure everyone in DHS custody is treated humanely. The Roybal-Allard Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act would codify minimum standards of treatment for detainees including access to telephones, quality medical care, notice of the charges against detainees, and appropriate treatment of sexual abuse survivors, among other provisions. The bill would expand alternatives to detention program and ensure children apprehended by DHS are treated appropriately and humanely. The Menendez-Kennedy bill (S. 3594) would protect U.S. citizens, residents and immigrants from unlawful detention and abuse.
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. For more information call George Tzamaras at 202-507-7649