AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Deeply Troubled by Hate and Violence, Calls for Protections and Positive Change

11/10/23 AILA Doc. No. 23111035.

Washington, DC – As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to bring bloodshed and a growing number of casualties, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is deeply troubled that, here in the United States, angry, irresponsible rhetoric is fueling a dramatic increase in incidents of violence, prejudice, and discrimination against people of Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab identity.  As an organization working to uphold justice and fairness in immigration law for more than 75 years, AILA unequivocally denounces all forms of hate, violence, or discrimination that target anyone based on their race, nationality, faith, or immigration status.

We are particularly concerned that the nation’s elected leaders have made inflammatory, sometimes vitriol-filled, statements or taken actions that target, blame, exclude, ban or discriminate against people based on their identity.  A few members of Congress have introduced legislation that would block visas for, deny entry to, or expel people based solely on their Palestinian nationality.  Such discriminatory measures have no place in American law or discourse and should be rejected and denounced. 

The United States must not repeat the ugly side of its history by allowing prejudice to drive immigration policy or any other law. We have seen bias infect U.S. law under the pretext of protecting the nation from terrorism post 9/11, as well as the 2017 Muslim ban. Those measures were harmful, and did nothing to improve our national security. Instead of fearmongering, AILA urges immediate action to ensure the protection and safety of those who are impacted by the conflict and commends the steps already taken, including the bicameral letter from more than 100 legislators urging protection.

Americans must focus on our common humanity, not our differences. Together we must stand for peace, and work toward a better tomorrow.

What does effective border management look like?

To ensure lasting and meaningful change at the border, border security reforms must happen in tandem with other improvements to the immigration system.