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Senators Menendez and Leahy Introduce First Comprehensive Immigration Bill of 2010

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10093068 (posted Sep. 30, 2010)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, September 30, 2010
CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras or Jenny Werwa
202-507-7649 202-507-7628
gtzamaras@aila.org jwerwa@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) views the introduction of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 (S. 3932) by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) as an important step in advancing reforms of our nation's broken immigration system. The Menendez-Leahy bill is the first comprehensive immigration bill introduced in the Senate since 2007. It includes key elements that both Republican and Democratic leaders have called for: enhanced border security, mandatory employment verification, fixes to the business and family visa systems, a legalization plan for the millions who are undocumented, and stiffer penalties on illegal immigration. This bill launches the long-needed debate about how to reform our immigration system.

"The Menendez-Leahy bill combines enforcement with broad legalization," said David Leopold, president of AILA. The CIR Act of 2010 sets stringent benchmark "triggers" that must be met before anyone can get a green card under the proposed legalization plan. It includes major increases in border patrol officers, worksite enforcement investigators, security measures on the borders, and surveillance technology. The bill is also tough on illegal immigration and raises the penalties for illegal entry, increasing the maximum criminal penalty to up to 25 years imprisonment. The bill also cracks down on gang violence and sex offenders, and restricts immigrants from buying guns.

"The Menendez-Leahy bill includes important elements from Sen. Schumer's REPAIR Proposal, which Democrats offered as a bi-partisan compromise to Republicans," said Leopold. "S. 3932 also includes the DREAM Act, AgJobs, and other proposals that have drawn support from both sides of the aisle." AILA has been calling for an immigration system that works - a fair and effective program that secures our borders, goes after employers who take advantage of undocumented workers, and creates a process to legalize current undocumented immigrants who meet strict eligibility requirements. Leopold added, "The time is now for comprehensive immigration reform. CIR would aid our economy and provide fairness to taxpayers, job creators, and families that now get hopelessly entangled in the dysfunctional immigration system."

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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.