AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Offers Border Solutions Ahead of First Immigration-Related Hearing in the 118th Congress

1/31/23 AILA Doc. No. 23013101. Admissions & Border, Asylum

Washington, DC – As the House Judiciary Committee convenes a hearing on the U.S. southern border tomorrow, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) urges Congress to not waste taxpayers' money and partake in political theatre but to take swift action to update our nation’s immigration system at the border and beyond. Three decades have passed since Congress last enacted change to the immigration system; recommendations from AILA outline border security reforms that will ensure lasting and meaningful change.

AILA President Jeremy McKinney stated, “Like old tech, our immigration system is in desperate need of a systems update, and to do so requires both Congress and the Biden Administration to utilize their respective powers in tandem. By investing in the U.S. immigration system through an ‘all of government approach’ that marshals the resources of multiple agencies, the federal government can and will alleviate pressure on the southern border. Congress must do its part, providing funding for more asylum officers, more inspection officers at ports of entry, and more officers to process visas that are backlogged in the system and creating a bottleneck. Improving this infrastructure will increase efficiency and ensure fairness for all.

Gregory Chen, AILA Senior Director of Government Relations added, “The challenges at the border cannot be solved through ever-harsher punitive measures, such as the detention, blocking, and rapid expulsion of people arriving at the border. Case in point is the falsely-justified Title 42 policy that has trapped asylum seekers in dangerous conditions in Mexico but failed to reduce the numbers arriving at the border. Those policies are the product of fearmongering and divisive politics but will not restore order or American values at the southern border. They also do little to address the challenges faced by border communities that need a safe, orderly, and humane processing system. Instead AILA urges Congress and the President to uphold asylum law, implement humanitarian programs that address root causes of migration, and offer more legal pathways that welcome people to this prosperous nation.”