WASHINGTON, DC, June 27, 2019 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the introduction of the “Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act” (H.R. 3524) as an important step toward addressing the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border. The bill introduced by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and other House members offers comprehensive solutions to address the violence and instability in Central America while also increasing the federal government’s capacity to manage the situation at the U.S. southern border.

Marketa Lindt, AILA President stated, “This bill not only provides solutions for the humanitarian situation in Central America but also ensures that migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border are screened in an orderly and humane manner. AILA has recommended precisely these kinds of policies that make the screening process more efficient while protecting due process. Just as important, AILA supports this bill because it reaches beyond our borders to strengthen the rule of law and to implement strategies to address the causes of the violence in Central America.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noted, “Americans want smart solutions that secure our border and also protect those fleeing life-threatening dangers, and this bill is a big step toward making that possible. To make the system efficient and fair, AILA calls upon the government to hire and send more asylum officers to the border, provide migrants with legal counsel, and stop what has become a knee-jerk practice of detaining asylum seekers. H.R. 3524 also calls for hiring more immigration judges, but on its own more judges won’t eliminate the enormous 900,000 case backlog slowing the courts. Congress should immediately restore the authority that DOJ stripped from immigration judges to manage their dockets and decide cases in an impartial and independent manner, and in the long term Congress should create an independent immigration court system separate from the Department of Justice. We welcome the ‘Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act’ and urge Congress to move the bill forward quickly.”

To learn more about how the bill’s approach aligns with AILA’s recommendations, and for a more detailed analysis on solutions that would address the situation at the border, read AILA’s Policy Brief for Effective Border Management.