AILA Doc No. 99110411 | Dated November 4, 1999
For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 4, 1999
Public Affairs Manager
H.R. 2528 Neither Reorganizes Nor Improves INS
WASHINGTON – A revised bill that would reform the Immigration and Naturalization Services fails on its face, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). The measure, H.R. 2528 – revised today by Representatives Harold Rogers (R-KY), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) – would make it more difficult to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, and cause even larger backlogs than the ones currently facing refugees seeking protection, people trying to reunite with their families, and businesses seeking to hire needed foreign professionals.
“AILA wants change at the INS, and is on record supporting efficient, effective and fair reform of the INS. 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. H.R. 2528 meets none of those principles,” said Jeanne Butterfield, AILA’s Executive Director. “Those principles reflect the fact that INS reform is not about moving boxes on a flow chart. It is about hundreds of thousands of people who will be deeply affected by INS reorganization. That is why INS reform is too important not to do well.”
Butterfield also explained that, for some months, the sponsors of H.R. 2528 have been negotiating with Members of Congress and the Administration in an effort to address the concerns of AILA and other advocacy groups. “The revisions introduced today not only do not reflect any understandings reached during those negotiations, but take a major step backwards,” she said.
“As revised, the Immigration Reorganization and Improvement Act of 1999 neither reorganizes nor improves the INS. In fact, it would make things worse for the hundreds of thousands of people seeking to enter the U.S., reunite with their families, and for American companies trying to hire needed foreign professionals. For those reasons, AILA strongly opposes H.R. 2528,” Butterfield said.
Cite as AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99110411.