AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

President Focuses on Irrational Policy Instead of Choosing to Strengthen America

4/23/20 AILA Doc. No. 20042335.

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) denounces President Trump’s decision to temporarily block access to immigrant visas with some exceptions. A summary of the ban is available on AILA’s website.

AILA President Marketa Lindt noted, “The crisis that has gripped the nation and the world demands rational, thoughtful, fact-based policies focused on keeping Americans healthy and our economy strong. The Presidential Proclamation does not move us toward those goals. It disregards the importance of family to those who go to work every day on the frontlines of this crisis, and the importance of workers from all backgrounds and all skill levels in rebuilding our economy. We know from empirical evidence that immigrants create jobs, innovate, start companies, and meet workforce needs. We don’t need to suspend immigration, we need to strengthen and improve our immigration system to respond to the challenges of our times. AILA and its members have called for immigration reform for years, asking for a rational and flexible set of policies that drive innovation, support economic growth and uphold our nation’s fundamental values. We have never needed that more than today.”

AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson added, “Rather than a thoughtful approach to adjusting our nation’s immigration system, the president has chosen to block citizens and residents from being with their family members to support each other during this crisis. All of us, newcomers and native-born alike, will overcome the difficult challenges we face today through hard work and the support of our families. This proclamation will fray and weaken these family support systems when we need them most. Every single one of these blocked visas is a person. The parent of a US citizen who could be caring for her grandchildren to allow someone to work a double shift, or a spouse coming to care for and grieve with a long-term permanent resident facing a terminal illness. These are the types of harms that will come from this proclamation. No American job will be saved, and no one will be safer or more secure. America is better than this.”

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.