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 AILA members.
AILA members are attorneys and law students. Our members represent a wide variety of clients, including U.S. families seeking permanent residence for close family members, U.S. businesses seeking talent from the global marketplace, students, entertainers, athletes, and asylum seekers. They also teach and study at law schools across the country. AILA also has communities for international associates and paralegals, who can access special resources designed to meet their academic and professional needs.
AILA, originally called the Association of Immigration and Nationality Lawyers, was founded on October 14, 1946, by a group of 19 immigration lawyers and professionals in Manhattan. Twelve of the founders had recently worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service and recognized a need for a bar association devoted to representing immigrants in the United States.
The association’s certificate of incorporation was filed in New York on November 22, 1946, and Josh Koenigsberg became the organization’s first president. Gaspare Cusumano served as vice president, Anita Streep as secretary, and Daniel Caputi as treasurer.
AILA’s founders were deeply concerned with promoting the just administration and reform of immigration law in the United States. They also sought to elevate the professional standing and reputation of immigration practitioners appearing before the Immigration Service, as well as to enhance the spirit of community among immigration law practitioners.