August 12, 2010
After some procedural stumbling, today the U.S. Congress passed a $600 million immigration enforcement supplemental appropriations package for additional border enforcement funding through the fiscal year 2011. The package was sponsored by a group of senators and representatives who had previously insisted on holding the line for a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Having taken an enforcement-first step, the leader of that group, Senator Charles Schumer, said “Hopefully colleagues on both sides of the aisle will [now] come together and we can pass comprehensive reform”.
“Indeed,” said David Leopold, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), “it is imperative that legislative attention turn to comprehensive reform. While immigration enforcement needs are legitimate, we will continue to be throwing good money after bad if we insist on pursuing these enforcement-only approaches. In order to truly address the pressures on the border we need comprehensive immigration reform.”
Any effective, long-term solution to the immigration problem must: 1) require the undocumented population to come out of the shadows and earn legal status; 2) ensure that American businesses are able to hire the workers they need to help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition; 3) reduce the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family-based and employment-based immigration by reforming the permanent immigration system; and 4) protect our national security and the rule of law while preserving and restoring fundamental principles of due process and equal protection.
“The American taxpayer deserves better than expensive, half measures that don't represent real solutions to our immigration woes,” stated Leopold. “It's time to stop posturing and start acting.”
AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10081266 (posted Aug. 12, 2010)