AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA: Raids Targeting Families Would Sow Fear and Solve Nothing at Border

6/21/19 AILA Doc. No. 19062136. Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - There have been widespread reports, including tweets from the President himself, that next week Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be conducting mass round-ups of vulnerable families from Central America who fled to the U.S. to seek asylum and have since been ordered removed. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued the following statement:

Marketa Lindt, AILA President, noted, "Conducting raids on families would sow more fear and confusion without bringing order to the border region. To address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S southern border, our country needs smart solutions to speed up the processing of arriving migrants while still ensuring their claims for asylum are reviewed fairly and thoroughly. AILA has urged the administration to beef up the ranks of qualified asylum officers and fix the immigration court system by restoring judges' authority to control their caseload and operate more efficiently. Court hearings would be fairer and more efficient if the government ensures every migrant has legal counsel. Families are presenting themselves openly to Border Patrol because they want a fair day in court. Recent court data shows that 99 percent of represented families showed up for every one of their court hearings."

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director stated, "While there's no realistic way that the President can accomplish his goal of deporting 'millions' of people next week, his threats are nonetheless terrorizing communities. Targeting families who are fleeing persecution is not a solution. Mass family detention is a campaign slogan that is inhumane and wastes hundreds of millions in American taxpayer dollars. AILA's 16,000 members will stand with these vulnerable families to ensure they are treated fairly and in keeping with the Constitution and laws of this nation--something we can no longer count on under current policies. AILA did it when the Obama Administration detained families, and we'll do it again if the Trump Administration implements these raids across the country. We'll fight for these families and make sure they get their fair day in court and, if they are eligible, that they win asylum."