|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Sept. 23, 1999
Matt Tallmer, Public Affairs Manager
IMMIGRATION ADVOCACY GROUP ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR INS
ENDORSES S. 1563 ABRAHAM-KENNEDY-HAGEL BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Immigration Lawyers Association
(AILA) strongly supports S. 1563, the Immigration and Naturalization Service Reform and
Border Security Act of 1999. Jeanne
Butterfield, AILA’s Executive Director, made the announcement as a key Senate
committee was holding hearings on the measure introduced by Senators Spencer Abraham
(R-MI), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Charles Hagel (R-NE).
“We have long said that the INS needs to be overhauled. We also
have said repeatedly that true reform provides for a single voice on immigration,
coordination between the enforcement and adjudications functions of the INS, and adequate
funding. S. 1563 meets all of these criteria. We are pleased to support the measure, which
will go a long way in clearing up some of the problems at the INS. We look forward to working with the sponsors to
address some remaining concerns with the bill,” Butterfield said.
S. 1563, the INS Reform and Border
Security Act of 1999, would create an Immigration Affairs Agency within the Department of
Justice, which would be headed by an Associate Attorney General for Immigration Affairs. S. 1563 also would separate the INS into an
Immigration Services and Adjudication Bureau and a Bureau of Enforcement and Border
Affairs. S. 1563 provides for coordination and support between the bureaus, and would
mandate that users fees support adjudication functions.
It also would establish accountability within both the adjudications and
“INS reform is not an exercise in shuffling boxes on a
government flow chart. It affects real people. Congressional actions will help or hurt the
hundreds of thousands of American citizens, businesses and legal immigrants who daily come
into contact with the INS. Making the wrong type of reform will result in even larger
delays in citizenship processing, reuniting familes, helping businesses acquire needed
workers, and less effective and fair enforcement of our immigration laws,”
Butterfield said. “S. 1563 recognizes those facts and would improve the system to
benefit citizens, people seeking to reunite with their families, and American businesses.
That’s why we’re proud to support S.1563.”