AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Urges House to Reject Wasteful and Unnecessary Border Wall Spending

7/25/17 AILA Doc. No. 17072504. Admissions & Border
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) strongly opposes adding funding for a wasteful and unnecessary border wall to the appropriations package set to be voted on later this week. Members of the House plan to add the $1.6 billion in funding to a "minibus" spending measure covering, among other things, Defense, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs. In an effort to get votes for the wall, appropriators are attaching it to funding for programs helping America's military service members and veterans.

"Funding $1.6 billion for an unnecessary border wall is nothing but wasteful spending generated from an idea touted on the campaign trail: we need to 'build a great wall.' Earlier this month, House appropriators yielded to the President's demand for billions in funding for a massive ineffective and cruel deportation force. Now the President's party leadership is trying to go around the normal process by slipping border wall money into a larger funding package," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. She continued, "Instead of a funding bill that covers the entire Department of Homeland Security (DHS), party leadership is tacking money for a wall, panned by border state representatives from both parties, onto funding for other vital and necessary programs. The wall will wreak havoc on local communities, and Congress needs to stand against this effort and these wasteful budget games."

Greg Chen, AILA Director of Government Relations noted, "The House is deceiving the public by saying the wall serves any purpose other than fulfilling President Trump's campaign promise. Border apprehensions have hit historic lows over the past two decades, so the wall has nothing to do with national security or protecting border communities. Behind all the fake bluster about security, the House proposal excludes money for federal emergency disaster relief, Coast Guard, and other DHS programs that actually protect our homeland. This proposal is a shameful and massive waste of Americans' tax dollars that advances the Administration's singular purpose of building a behemoth deportation machine to remove people who have lived here for years, including Dreamers and their families, damaging our entire nation."

More information can be found in AILA's report published in April, 2017: President Trump's Massive Enforcement Plan: Wasteful and Ineffective.


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.