Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00072659 (posted Jul. 26, 2000)"
July 25, 2000
Tallmer, Public Affairs Manager
LAWYERS: STRONGLY ENDORSE CONYERS BILL --
RESTORES JUSTICE, FAIRNESS, FAMILY VALUES TO IMMIGRATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. ─ The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
today strongly endorses an omnibus immigration reform measure introduced by
Representative John Conyers (D-MI).
years ago, Congress passed the overly harsh Illegal Immigration Reform and
Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA). Among its more draconian
effects, IIRAIRA denies people their day in court, denies people a second
chance, changes the rules in the middle of the game and tears families apart.
The measure introduced by Representative Conyers would remedy those un-American
effects byletting federal courts review INS decisions, restoring
judicial discretion, eliminating mandatory detention and indefinite detention,
and eliminating the retroactivity of IIRAIRA that punishes immigrants for minor
offenses from long ago. The bill
also would repeal bans on visits by family members of Legal Permanent Residents
who are waiting for immigrant visa priority dates, restore Section 245(i),
update the registry date, and create parity for similarly situated refugees left
out of NACARA.
is proud to endorse the Conyers bill. It would undo many of the overly harsh
provisions of IIRAIRA and, once again, restore such key American principles of
law, justice, fairness and family values to our immigration system. By restoring
Section 245(i), updating the registry date, and granting parity to similarly
situated Central Americans and Caribbean refugees, this bill would both help
ensure our nation’s continued economic growth and correct for past government
mistakes and misdeeds. Representative Conyers and the other Members of Congress
deserve credit for standing up for the rights of immigrants and their
families,” said Jeanne A. Butterfield, Executive Director of AILA.
measure introduced today will help people such as Mary Anne Gehris, who was
threatened with deportation for pulling a woman’s hair more than a decade ago;
Donald Vega, a world-renowned jazz pianist, threatened with deportation because
he illegally entered the U.S. at the age of 11; Daniel Campbell, who was being
deported for a teenage prank committed in 1968. It also will help the thousands
of immigrants who could adjust their status here, rather than returning to their
own country, were Section 245(i) still part of the Immigration and Nationality
Act,” Butterfield said.
look forward to working with our Congressional supporters on this long overdue
measure. We ask Congress and the
Administration for their support so that this bill, and the provisions it
includes, becomes law.”