AILA Press Release on Temporary Foreign Workers Bill

Tuesday, October 3, 2000                       

Matt Tallmer
AILA Public Affairs Manager


WASHINGTON, D.C. ─ Senate approval, by an overwhelming 96-1 vote, of a measure allowing employers to retain temporary foreign professionals would help continue America’s unprecedented economic expansion, the President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said today. AILA also called upon Congress to approve other vitally needed immigration bills.

            “With the bipartisan approval of S. 2045, sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Spencer Abraham (R-MI), American industries, colleges and research institutions will remain the envy of the world. This measure will help sustain our economic grow by allowing businesses in such key industries as high-tech, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and education retain temporary foreign professionals. It also will help American workers prepare for well-paying, high-tech jobs by funding training programs for current employees and education programs for American students,” said Margaret A. Catillaz, AILA’s President.

Catillaz said the House of Representatives now must quickly take up and approve S. 2045. “Time is our biggest obstacle. Congress is set to adjourn shortly. If the House does not approve S. 2045 by the time that body adjourns, it will cause irreparable harm to our economy. We urge House leaders to take S. 2045 to the floor for a vote immediately, and ensure that Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) does not introduce H.R. 4227 as a substitute,” Catillaz said. More than 400 corporations, research institutions and trade associations earlier signed a letter to Congress urging that the House reject H.R. 4227.

AILA’s President also urged Congress to act on four other vitally needed immigration measure before it adjourns. “While we hail today’s Senate vote and eagerly await a positive House vote, we must not lose sight of the fact that Congress must address before it adjourns four other important immigration matters: due process reforms of the overly harsh 1996 laws, the restoration of Section 245(i), NACARA parity and updating the registry date. This low a batting average wouldn’t cut it on the Gold Medal winning U.S. Olympic baseball team, and it is not good enough for lawmakers dealing with immigrants, their families and employers,” Catillaz said. “We urge Congress to restore American values of law, justice and fairness to our nation’s immigration system by passing much-needed reforms.”



© 2000, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 00100359.