AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

House Passes Immigration Measures as Part of Build Back Better Act

11/19/21 AILA Doc. No. 21111961.

Washington, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds today’s passage by the House of Representatives of the “Build Back Better Act” by a vote of 220 to 213. The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Allen Orr, President of AILA, said, “We welcome the vote today which will offer temporary immigration protection for many long-time residents of our country who have contributed to our economy and will be vital to our recovery from the pandemic. While this bill does not offer the much-needed reform to provide a path to permanent legal status and citizenship, it will offer security and safety to an estimated 7 million or more people. AILA urges the Senate to quickly follow suit and send President Biden this bill which will strengthen our communities, protect families, and make America stronger.”

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director added, “For decades, Americans have told Congress to reform our immigration system and create a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants who are part of our families and communities. This isn’t a perfect bill, but it will give families and businesses some stability and security. It will also ‘recapture’ green cards that Congress already authorized but were wasted over the years by inefficiencies and allow families and foreign workers who have qualified for permanent status but have been stuck in the backlog, often for decades, to become permanent residents sooner. Further, thousands of diversity lottery winners who were unable to enter the U.S. during the pandemic will be allowed to reapply for their visas. While this is a critical first step, we still need real, lasting reform to our immigration laws to build out an immigration system that will actually work for America. We will continue to work toward those more permanent reforms but welcome this step forward today.”