AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

Congress Set to Approve Funding Deal, Leaves Dreamers Out in the Cold

3/21/18 AILA Doc. No. 18032107. DACA, Deferred Action, Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC – As Congress is set to approve billions of additional funding for immigration enforcement by federal agencies, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded as follows:

“Missing the opportunity to pass legislation that would protect Dreamers and boost our economy through smart immigration laws, this Congress has chosen to fund 20% more detention beds and additional agents, even though statistics show that border apprehensions remain at historically low levels,” said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. She continued, “It is absolutely shameful that there is no solution for Dreamers in this legislation. There is bipartisan support for a path to citizenship for them and the vast majority of Americans want to see it happen. Members of Congress are failing in leadership; they continue to make choices that will degrade our shared prosperity, rather than build a better future.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “Make no mistake, this money is going to be fed into the Trump administration’s deportation machine and will result in increased indiscriminate enforcement tactics, tearing American families apart. This appropriations deal once again fails to put resources in the places where we need them to strengthen our immigration system. There are, however, two positive aspects of this budgetary debacle. The first is the inclusion of a provision, similar to what was agreed upon in FY 2017, to provide limited relief to H-2B employers who need temporary foreign workers to supplement their workforce and sustain seasonal business operations. The second is that, thanks to the hard work of key Congressional offices in pushing back against some of the enormous, often absurd proposals emanating from the White House, the Trump administration was denied most of its outrageous demands. We will continue to fight alongside these allies to protect American families and American values.”


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.