Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99110411 (posted Nov. 4, 1999)"
Thursday, November 4, 1999
Public Affairs Manager
2528 Neither Reorganizes Nor Improves INS
WASHINGTON – A
revised bill that would reform the Immigration and Naturalization Services fails
on its face, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
The measure, H.R. 2528 – revised today by Representatives Harold Rogers
(R-KY), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) – would make it more
difficult to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, and
cause even larger backlogs than the ones currently facing refugees
seeking protection, people trying to reunite with their families, and businesses
seeking to hire needed foreign professionals.
“AILA wants change at the INS, and is on record supporting efficient,
effective and fair reform of the INS. However, any reorganization must provide
for a single person in charge with clout who sets and supervises national
immigration policy; separate, but coordinated, enforcement and adjudications
functions; and adequate funding for adjudications that includes direct
appropriated funds to supplement user fees. H.R. 2528 meets none of those
principles,” said Jeanne Butterfield, AILA’s Executive Director. “Those
principles reflect the fact that INS reform is not about moving boxes on a flow
chart. It is about hundreds of thousands of people who will be deeply affected
by INS reorganization. That is why INS reform is too important not to do
explained that, for some months, the sponsors of H.R. 2528 have been negotiating
with Members of Congress and the Administration in an effort to address the
concerns of AILA and other advocacy groups. “The revisions introduced today
not only do not reflect any understandings reached during those negotiations,
but take a major step backwards,” she said.
“As revised, the
Immigration Reorganization and Improvement Act of 1999 neither reorganizes nor
improves the INS. In fact, it would make things worse for the hundreds of
thousands of people seeking to enter the U.S., reunite with their families, and
for American companies trying to hire needed foreign professionals. For those
reasons, AILA strongly opposes H.R. 2528,” Butterfield said.