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AILA Doc. No. 14090640 | Dated September 6, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 6, 2014
|George Tzamaras||or||Belle Woods|
Washington, DC - The following is a statement from Leslie Holman, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) about President Obama's announced decision to again delay any executive action that would help immigrants, their families, and our economy:
"Through this decision to delay, President Obama has broken yet another promise to immigrants, their families, U.S. businesses, and a community largely responsible for his even having a second term. This President, who has deported more people in 5 years than any other, who has doubled down on the jailing of women and children, who has tried to gut the protections we have for trafficked children, who has failed to curb the unjustified denial of legitimate business applications or provide promised incentives to encourage entrepreneurship, has now joined the House of Representatives in profound failure regarding our immigration system.
"By breaking his promise to exercise his authority this summer to provide some relief from the immigration system's dysfunction, the President has bowed to political pressure to the detriment of many: the businesses that are struggling, idea-generating immigrant entrepreneurs, families waiting to be reunited, and those whose lives his deportation machine is destroying each day. All of them, all of us, were waiting for him to lead.
"Even as he once again declines to act expeditiously, President Obama is doubling down on his aggressive deportation record by turning his back on our country's moral obligation to provide refuge for the most vulnerable people fleeing unspeakable violence, by consigning families to jails and rushing women and children through deportation with little more than an impersonation of due process. Despite the Administration's best efforts to railroad these families out of the country, volunteer attorneys have been gathering at the Artesia, New Mexico detention center-a center set up hours away from the nearest legal help-to provide pro bono assistance in battling what had previously seemed to be pre-determined fates of the women and children there. And what they are seeing are people clearly qualified for, and desperately in need of, this country's protection. Similarly, attorneys are trying to keep up with the number of unaccompanied children who are being marched before immigration judges, alone and unrepresented, to face a hurried judgment of deportation.
"The attempt to deny protection to desperate refugees, and the delay on immigration action, make absolutely no fiscal or moral sense, and are built on questionable political assumptions. The Administration's treatment of women and children refugees is leaving a stain on our country's history that can never be lifted. The President's chain of broken promises on repairing, or at least patching, our broken immigration system is a betrayal of all who put their hopes in his leadership.
"I'm disappointed in the President and urge him to reconsider and to move swiftly on both fronts: fix what he can of what's broken in our immigration system and do what's right by the women and children jailed and railroaded instead of protected. Our country's values require no less."
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. 14090640.