AILA Doc No. 02101071 | Dated October 10, 2002
American Immigration Lawyers Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Judith Golub (202) 216-2403
October 10, 2002
IT IS TIME TO REFORM OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS:
We Need to Get it Right, Immigration Experts Say
Washington, D.C.- "The United States' immigration system needs to be reformed to reflect current needs and realities," said Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "We thus welcome the introduction today by Representative Dick Gephardt (D-MO) of the Earned Legalization and Family Unification Act of 2002. AILA views the introduction of this bill as an important first step. It is high time we return to the important task of reforming our immigration system," continued Ms. Butterfield. "This bill begins this task by including long-overdue provisions that would grant hard-working people an earned adjustment and dramatically decrease the backlogs in family-based immigration. We call on the White House to step up to the plate and take a leadership role by resuming the U.S./Mexico discussions."
The American Immigration Lawyers Association has long supported reform of our immigration system. As a result of our current system, families are separated for long periods of time and U.S. employers cannot bring in needed workers. People are forced to live an underground existence in the shadows, declining to make themselves known to the government for fear of being separated form their families and jobs. "We need to target our enforcement resources on people who mean to do us harm, not on those who are filling our labor market needs, revitalizing our communities, and seeking to fulfill the American Dream," said Ms. Butterfield.
The Earned Legalization and Family Unification Act of 2002 recognizes that the status quo is unacceptable, especially in a post-September 11 world in which enhanced security is a priority, as is the need to balance our security with the continued flow of people and goods. AILA looks forward to working in the next Congress on this vitally needed reform with immigration supporters in the House and Senate. Successful immigration reform will take account of the following:
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.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 02101071.