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AILA Responds to House Worksite Enforcement Hearing

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11012662 (posted Jan. 26, 2011)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CONTACT:
George Tzamaras or Jenny Werwa
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7628
mailto:gtzamaras@aila.org / jwerwa@aila.org

Washington, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA, commented that the political gamesmanship has begun with today's hearing in the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. The hearing, titled "ICE Worksite Enforcement - Up to the Job?" is an example of backward thinking in tackling America's broken immigration system. It represents an extension of a policy paradigm that has already failed.

It would be a costly mistake to aggressively enforce employment verification without also addressing the underlying issue of people who are integrated into the workforce who have no hope of legality - it's only pushing them into an underground economy which would undermine the economic recovery and destabilize American businesses.

AILA President David Leopold explained, "AILA believes worksite enforcement must be done in a strategic manner that targets the worst employers while protecting our nation's workers and minimizing the impact on law-abiding business owners. At a time when economic recovery is vital, American jobs must be the priority."

Instead of focusing on enforcement-only solutions, Congress should consider a broad approach to immigration reform. Smart immigration policies that include a pathway to legalization for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S. would add billions of dollars to the economy and raise the wages of all American workers.

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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.

 
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