AILA Statement on INS Commissioner Resignation

American Immigration Lawyers Association
Press Release


August 16, 2002

Amanda Carufel, (202) 216-2404

INS Commissioner Resigns

Statement by Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director

Washington, DC—The American Immigration Lawyers Association receives with regret the news today that Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner James Ziglar has announced his resignation, effective at the end of this year.

“We thank Commissioner Ziglar for his calm voice of reason reminding us not to equate immigrants with terrorists, his steady leadership in tackling the challenges of backlogs and inefficiencies at the beleaguered INS, and his thoughtful perspective on how we can improve our nation’s security and affirm our tradition as a nation of immigrants,” said Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  “Mr. Ziglar will be missed by AILA.  We wish him the very best.”

“As the Administration begins its search for a new leader of our immigration system, we urge the President to seek out a leader who, like Mr. Ziglar, recognizes the critical role that immigration plays in keeping our nation strong and vibrant.  Immigrants who come to America to contribute their hard work and needed skills, to reunite with close family members, and to seek protection from persecution, should be treated with dignity and respect under our nation’s laws.  The INS needs strong, positive leadership to set the agency on a forward-looking course.”

“A sweeping overhaul of the immigration system is critical.  As the Administration and Congress rush to create a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, they cannot ignore the urgent need to reform the INS.  Service functions, such as administering citizenship tests and evaluating immigration applications, must be separated from, but coordinated with, enforcement functions within the same agency. A strong leader with the authority to develop and administer immigration policy for the entire agency must be placed at the helm.”

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Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides its Members with continuing legal education, information, and professional services. AILA advocates before Congress and the Administration and provides liaison with the INS and other government agencies. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association.

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street NW, Washington, DC, 20009
Phone (202) 216-2400; Fax (202) 783-7853


Cite as AILA Doc. No. 02081645.