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AILA Heartened by Congressional Commitment to Immigration Reform

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07010560 (posted Jan. 5, 2007)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 4, 2007

Contact: George Tzamaras
202-216-2410
gtzamaras@aila.org

AILA Heartened By Congressional Commitment to Immigration Reform

Washington, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the largest national association of immigration lawyers, established to promote justice and advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, applauds the Senate leadership's bipartisan commitment to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality this year. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that comprehensive reform is on the Democrats' top-ten list of legislative priorities for the 110th Congress, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in his opening remarks to the newly constituted Senate, boldly declared that: "Immigration is one of the most pressing issues of our day. We should be daring about immigration reform - and act on it soon. The voters demand it. We have a duty to deliver."

"We commend the many senators and representatives who have highlighted the urgency of resolving the crisis afflicting our immigration system," said AILA President Carlina Tapia-Ruano. "With today's formal, bipartisan commitment of Senate leaders to reform our immigration laws, we have an opportunity to once again make legality, fairness, and workability the norm, rather than the exception, in our immigration system. We urge the new Congress to act swiftly and seize this historic opportunity."

To provide a meaningful, lasting solution that embraces our complementary heritage as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws, Congress must enact a program that: (1) creates realistic legal avenues for people to enter the U.S. to fill jobs throughout our economy; (2) establishes a workable process for undocumented workers already here to pay a penalty and then earn the privilege of legal status; (3) eliminates the visa backlogs that senselessly keep U.S. families separated for years and sometimes decades on end; (4) restores procedures that ensure fair treatment of noncitizens in this country; and (5) implements a smart, effective border security and enforcement regime.

"Everyone agrees that America's immigration system is fundamentally broken and out of sync with the needs and demands of 21st century America," Tapia-Ruano continued. "Now we hope that Congress can overcome a history of political gridlock on this issue and can restore legitimacy and integrity to the process of welcoming newcomers to this country."

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 202-216-2410 or Brooke Hewson at 202-216-2435.

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