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AILA: INS Reform Top Priority

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99112302 (posted Nov. 23, 1999)"

For Immediate Release
Friday, November 19, 1999 


AILA: INS Reform Top Priority

WASHINGTON – As Congress nears its mid-term recess, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) restates its commitment to seeking true reform of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). AILA is disappointed that no such reform was achieved this session, and affirms that reforming and restructuring the INS remains one of its top legislative priorities.

 “No one wants to reform the INS more than AILA. In fact, we were among the first to call for restructuring the INS, and separating but coordinating the enforcement and adjudications functions. However, any reorganization must provide for: a  single person in charge with clout who sets and supervises national immigration policy; separate, but coordinated, enforcement and adjudications functions; and adequate funding for adjudications that includes direct appropriated funds to supplement user fees,” said INSERT NAME, TITLE OF LOCAL SPOKESMAN..

“Real INS reform remains at the top of our list. Unfortunately, H.R. 2528, introduced by Representatives Hal Rogers, Lamar Smith, and Silvestre Reyes, and passed by the Immigrant Claims Subcommittee chaired by Representative Smith does not meet those principles. But we are willing to work with the bill’s sponsors to get true reform. Real INS reform could have been achieved during the end-of-session budget negotiations. But it did not happen. Congressmen Rogers, Smith and Reyes lost a valuable opportunity to achieve real reform. And for that, we are sorry,” INSERT NAME, TITLE OF LOCAL SPOKESMAN .

“Our members represent hundreds of thousands of people seeking to become citizens and reunite with their families, refugees seeking asylum and companies seeking to hire needed professionals. Our members and their clients daily face the frustrations of waiting for services. We are pleased that Members of Congress are willing to step up to the plate and help achieve reform, especially since Congress must share responsibility for the INS’ current state due to conflicting missions, unfunded mandates, and the overly harsh 1996 laws,” INSERT NAME, TITLE OF LOCAL SPOKESMAN  said. “We are glad that Chairman Rogers, Chairman Smith and Representative Reyes appear to have come around to our long-held position about reducing the frustrations of immigrants waiting for services, and the 4-million case backlog. But this concern needs to be translated into support for true reform. H.R. 2528 does not achieve real reform.

“Being an active player in the efforts to reform and restructure the INS, we know that all parties – advocacy groups, Members of Congress, and the White House – want change. Finger pointing will not achieve our shared goal of ensuring that the INS operates effectively, efficiently, and fairly. Neither will resubmitting the original draft of H.R. 2528, as the Chairmen and Representative have said they will do. Drafting and enacting real reform legislation will. As the organization with the most day-to-day contact with the INS, AILA stands ready and willing to work with everyone so that, at the end of the day, we have reform that will benefit all,” INSERT NAME, TITLE OF LOCAL SPOKESMAN .



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