Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00072759 (posted Jul. 27, 2000)"
July 27, 2000
, Public Affairs Manager
LAWYERS URGE SENATE:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American
Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the national voluntary bar association
for immigration attorneys, today announced its strong support for S. 2912,
“The Latino and Immigrant
S. 2912, introduced by Senators
Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Harry Reid (D-NV), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Robert
Graham (D-FL), would enhance family values by helping immigrants remain with
their families; continue the longest economic boom in our nation’s history by
allowing employers to retain valued workers; recognize the value of long-term
residents who have been treated unfairly; and expand fairness by treating all
refugees of similar circumstances similarly. Specifically, the measure would
restore Section 245(i), update the registry date to 1986 and create parity for
similarly situated Central Americans and Caribbean refugees left out of NACARA.
“Immigrants, their families and
supporters should applaud Senators Kennedy, Reid, Durbin and Graham for
introducing S. 2912. This legislation would restore fairness, justice, and
family values to America’s immigration system,” said Jeanne A. Butterfield,
Executive Director of AILA.
explained that restoring Section 245(i) would allow eligible immigrants who have
passed all appropriate INS screenings to apply for green cards here, rather than
be separated from their families, their occupations and their communities for up
to 10 years. In its last year of existence, Section 245(i) generated
approximately $200 million a year for the INS at no cost to taxpayers. That
money could be used to reduce current backlogs.
2912 also would continue the immigration reform initiatives undertaken by the
Reagan Administration by updating the registry date, thereby allowing long-time
residents to adjust their status. President Reagan in 1986 granted long-time
out-of-status residents one year to become lawful permanent residents. But the
INS misinterpreted the law and turned away thousands of applicants. The Supreme
Court ordered the INS to process those applications, but Congress in 1996
slammed the courthouse door in the applicants’ face by stripping federal
courts of the authority to review those cases. Updating the registry date for
the sixth time since 1929 would allow those people denied justice the chance to
have their applications processed.
Butterfield noted, S. 2912 would extend NACARA parity to certain Central
American and Caribbean refugees. NACARA granted some people fleeing civil
conflicts the right to become legal residents. But people from other countries
facing similar circumstances were not allowed to apply for legal permanent
residency. NACRA parity would remedy that injustice.
“These issues are of vital
importance to immigrants nationwide. They represent justice, fairness, and
family values for thousands of immigrants and their families. We call on
Congress to enact this measure and ‘just get it done’ before this session
ends,” Butterfield said.