Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12032760 (posted Dec. 19, 2013)"
AILA Resources on Interior Enforcement and Due Process
America is a nation of values, founded on the idea that all people are created equal and that all people have rights, no matter what they look like or where they came from. The way we enforce our immigration laws should reflect our commitment to these values. Both our laws and our enforcement policies should be grounded in civil and human rights and ensure due process, equal treatment, and fairness.
Immigration Reform 2013
The House has taken an even more extreme tack on enforcement by introducing, and passing through the House Judiciary Committee, H.R. 2278, the "Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act" (the SAFE Act). (AILA Doc. No. 13060654.) AILA strongly opposes the SAFE Act because it would criminalize undocumented immigrants, give states and cities authority to enact their own immigration laws, inflate an already costly detention and enforcement apparatus, and perpetuate the failures of the existing system. As bipartisan reform moves forward in both chambers, AILA urges Congress to enact the best possible law that meets our nation's needs, protects civil and human rights, and ensures due process.
S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” provides a common sense pathway to citizenship for the undocumented with strict provisions on crimes, inadmissibility, deportability, and national security. (AILA Doc. No. 13041760.) AILA opposed the inclusion of many of these provisions because they will have harsh consequences and will exclude deserving individuals from legalization or from ever obtaining legal status. Any further tightening of these exclusion grounds would greatly erode due process and undermine the bill’s purpose of bringing families and individuals out of the shadows.
The Senate immigration bill also establishes stringent criteria that will bar many individuals from obtaining Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status or a green card. To balance these requirements, S.744 grants limited authority to immigration judges and agency officials to consider the facts in certain cases where a person does not automatically qualify and to exercise discretion if the person can show strong equities in his or her favor.
AILA Press Statements & Correspondence
A fair and functioning court system is essential to ensuring due process. Currently, the immigration court system is plagued by a lack of funding.
This year, the U.S. government will detain 34,000 immigrants per day at a cost of over $2 billion to American taxpayers -a figure not based on demonstrated need. ICE has all the tools it needs to safely release thousands of individuals it chooses to hold in detention.
In recent years increasing amounts of money have been poured into the protection of the border region--the necessity of these escalating costs is questionable, especially when considering that apprehensions at the border are at their lowest in 40 years.
Worksite Enforcement & E-Verify
Currently there are an estimated 8 million undocumented workers in the country --if these undocumented workers suddenly leave the workforce, our country would face significant, possibly devastating, economic consequences
Key to this administration's strategy have been programs that partner with local law enforcement, such as Secure Communities. These programs have come under attack due to their negative impact on community policing, susceptibility to racial profiling, and their indiscriminate approach to immigration enforcement.