AILA Salutes the Pro Bono Heroes of 2012

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7675 /

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is proud to salute the AILA members who participated in the Pro Bono Pledge of 2012. Of those AILA members who reported volunteer pro bono time, nearly 15,000 hours were recorded; unreported were countless hours more.

AILA members use their legal expertise to help those who need assistance navigating the complex set of policies and procedures that make up the current U.S. immigration system. AILA offers direct opportunities for interested members to help through the Military Assistance Program (MAP) and the AILA DREAM Defenders (AD2) program. Both are incredibly important initiatives: MAP offers help to those serving in our nation's military and their families, while AD2 was established to help young immigrants facing deportation who would have been eligible for the DREAM Act, had the legislation been enacted.

In addition to the two directed programs, AILA members across the country responded to President Obama's announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in June with an outpouring of support by working with schools and community groups to share information and by helping many of the nearly 400,000 eligible youth who have applied for DACA thus far. For example, nearly three-quarters of AILA's 34 U.S. chapters hosted or participated in workshops designed to help immigrants apply for DACA. Additionally, each year many chapters host clinics for residents to apply for citizenship as part of AILA's National Citizenship Day initiative. This year, National Citizenship Day will take place on April 20th.

"We salute those who pledged and reported for 2012 and encourage all AILA members to take the 2013 pledge. By giving of yourselves to those less fortunate, by sharing your hard-earned knowledge with those who cannot navigate the convoluted system on their own, you truly embody integrity and selflessness," said Laura Lichter, AILA President. She continued, "With the potential facing us for major change in the immigration system through legislative reform, these generous acts will only become more important to your communities and our nation."

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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. 13021360.