All Signs Point to Immigration Reform this Year: AILA Optimistic that the President and Congress will Push for CIR this Year


Wednesday, April 30, 2009
George Tzamaras

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is encouraged by events of the past 24 hours as President Barak Obama renewed his Administration’s pledge to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announced its intention to recalibrate its worksite enforcement actions to focus more on criminal prosecutions of employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers, and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship led by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), commenced hearings to examine common sense solutions to fixing America’s broken immigration system.

AILA commends Chairman Schumer for sounding the starting gun with an outstanding first hearing. Two expert-laden panels of witnesses made a highly compelling case – covering the moral, economic, business, labor, security and law enforcement angles – for the need to advance immigration reform legislation this year. “The stars seem to be aligning for a major push toward comprehensive immigration reform this year,” said Charles H. Kuck, president of AILA. “Momentum continues to build as more and more of our elected leaders understand that tackling and solving our current immigration crisis will only help strengthen America’s economy and security. The events over the past two days signal that this Administration and Congress get it and will not let this opportunity to finally bring the nation’s legal immigration system into the 21st century pass them by.”

AILA is pleased that DHS is taking steps to restore balance and rationality in its enforcement priorities. Mr. Kuck expressed hopes that the new DHS statement of policy addresses pivotal due process concerns, saying “a retooling of enforcement activities must, first and foremost, ensure the right to counsel of any employees caught up in these actions, and limit or eliminate the abusive practice of transferring detainees away from their communities, families and attorneys. These are indispensable elements of a fair and just system.”


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.

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