AILA Doc. No. 09052030 | Dated May 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes several developments today that signal that immigration reform is gaining momentum!
AILA commends US Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) for introducing legislation today that seeks to restore America's commitment to family unity. The Reuniting Families Act would help legal immigrants reunite with their families and end decade-long waiting times for legal immigrant visas. "This is momentous day for all Americans who understand the dire need for immigration," said Charles H. Kuck, president of AILA. "This important legislation promotes timely reunification of families by recapturing unused visas and eliminating the tragically long family immigration backlogs."
The legislation would reinforce our commitment to families and reduce current wait times in the family immigration system by:
In addition to this important legislation, the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee today launched an aggressive effort to press for passage of comprehensive immigration legislation, with Subcommittee Chairman Charles Schumer, D-NY, saying conditions are ripe for Congressional action. Schumer also announced an agenda of hearings for the coming months and said he is "cautiously optimistic that we can pass strong, fair, practical and effective immigration reform this year."
Further, a report released today by the nonpartisan Police Foundation criticized efforts to have local law enforcement agencies enforce federal immigration laws. The group said the report "finds that immigration enforcement by local police undermines their core public safety mission, diverts scarce resources, increases their exposure to liability and litigation, and exacerbates fear in communities already distrustful of police."
Also, the National Foundation of American Policy released two studies earlier today. One study titled, "Common Sense, Common Interests," recommends combining fully portable work permits - not tied to a specific employer - with bilateral administrative agreements. The second study, "A Commission to Regulate Immigration? A Bad Idea Whose Time Should Not Come," concludes that creating a commission to establish the annual level of temporary visas and green cards for high and low-skilled workers would result in unaccountable officials with the enormous power to change the law based on little more than their personal preference.
And finally, the White House today announced that it will hold a high-level meeting with Congressional leaders on June 8th to discuss plans for immigration reform.
These important developments all keep the momentum building towards an immigration overhaul that is desperately needed by our country. AILA pledges itself to working closely with Congress and the Administration to make sure that immigration reform moves forward to a successful conclusion in the months ahead!
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 09052030.