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AILA Announces Support for INS Reform; Endorses S. 1563 Abraham-Kennedy-Hagel Bill

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99092356 (posted Sep. 23, 1999)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Sept. 23, 1999

CONTACT:
Matt Tallmer, Public Affairs Manager
office: 202-216-2404
email: mtallmer@aila.org



IMMIGRATION ADVOCACY GROUP ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR INS REFORM;
ENDORSES S. 1563 ABRAHAM-KENNEDY-HAGEL BILL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) strongly supports S. 1563, the Immigration and Naturalization Service Reform and Border Security Act of 1999.  Jeanne Butterfield, AILA’s Executive Director, made the announcement as a key Senate committee was holding hearings on the measure introduced by Senators Spencer Abraham (R-MI), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Charles Hagel (R-NE).

“We have long said that the INS needs to be overhauled. We also have said repeatedly that true reform provides for a single voice on immigration, coordination between the enforcement and adjudications functions of the INS, and adequate funding. S. 1563 meets all of these criteria. We are pleased to support the measure, which will go a long way in clearing up some of the problems at the INS.  We look forward to working with the sponsors to address some remaining concerns with the bill,” Butterfield said. 

S. 1563, the INS Reform and Border Security Act of 1999, would create an Immigration Affairs Agency within the Department of Justice, which would be headed by an Associate Attorney General for Immigration Affairs.  S. 1563 also would separate the INS into an Immigration Services and Adjudication Bureau and a Bureau of Enforcement and Border Affairs. S. 1563 provides for coordination and support between the bureaus, and would mandate that users fees support adjudication functions.   It also would establish accountability within both the adjudications and enforcement agencies. 

“INS reform is not an exercise in shuffling boxes on a government flow chart. It affects real people. Congressional actions will help or hurt the hundreds of thousands of American citizens, businesses and legal immigrants who daily come into contact with the INS. Making the wrong type of reform will result in even larger delays in citizenship processing, reuniting familes, helping businesses acquire needed workers, and less effective and fair enforcement of our immigration laws,” Butterfield said. “S. 1563 recognizes those facts and would improve the system to benefit citizens, people seeking to reunite with their families, and American businesses. That’s why we’re proud to support S.1563.”

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