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AILA Wins ASAE's 2010 Associations Advance America Award of Excellence

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10022570 (posted Feb. 25, 2010)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, February 25, 2010
CONTACT:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC -- The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is one of 13 programs to win the Award of Excellence in the 2010 Associations Advance America Awards program, a national competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) & The Center for Association Leadership.

AILA received the award for its Military Assistance Program (MAP), a collaborative effort between AILA and the Legal Assistance Offices of the United States military Judge Advocate General Corps to expand traditional legal assistance for members of the military to include specialized help on immigration matters. At present, 1.5% of the U.S. military, or 31,000 soldiers, are non-citizens, and many of them seek legal assistance for immigration related issues, as do U.S. citizen soldiers, whose non-citizen family members require immigration legal assistance.

Utilizing volunteers from 34 AILA chapters across the country and two international chapters, AILA MAP matches volunteer attorneys with military personnel stationed around the globe. Since January 2008, AILA has provided pro bono (free) legal services to over 350 military families.

"AILA's Military Assistance Program truly embodies the spirit of the Associations Advance America campaign. It is an honor and an inspiration to showcase this activity as an example of the many contributions associations are making to advance American society," remarked 2009-2010 Associations Advance America Committee Chair Ping Wei, director of educational opportunities for the American Society of Civil Engineers.

"Until the creation of AILA MAP, no central place existed where military members could seek immigration expert help," said AILA Pro Bono Associate, Susan Timmons. "An additional beneficial consequence is that AILA MAP has brought the struggles of immigrant military families to the attention of government agencies."

AILA MAP is now in the running to receive a Summit Award, ASAE & The Center's top recognition for association programs, to be presented in ceremonies at ASAE's 11th Annual Summit Awards Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2010. Now in its 20th year, the prestigious Associations Advance America Awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards-setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service.

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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.