WASHINGTON, DC May 17, 2017 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) urges the House Judiciary Committee to move away from cruel, costly, and ineffective “enforcement-only” immigration reform; none of the bills being discussed at Thursday’s hearing will make our country safer. The bills include the “Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act” as well as authorization bills for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“These bills completely miss the mark on the kind of reform our country needs in order to build a 21st century immigration system that benefits us all,” said AILA President William A. Stock. He continued, “Chaotic and ill-thought bills that undermine public safety, trample the U.S. Constitution, harm Americans and their families and waste millions in taxpayer dollars are the antithesis of what our country needs and the values our nation was built on. Just as the President has threatened to go after local sheriffs and police, these House bills create an unfunded federal mandate on localities to enforce immigration law even if it jeopardizes the trust they have with their communities, and ultimately public safety. Instead of proposing real solutions, the authors of these bills try to resurrect an enforcement-only strategy that would create another expensive big government program that would pull not just immigrants, but all taxpayers, into its maw. With these bills, the House Judiciary Committee is leading Congress down the wrong path.”

“The House is giving President Trump a second try at creating the goliath deportation machine that he asked Congress to fund a few weeks ago,” said Greg Chen, AILA Director of Government Relations. “Collectively these bills establish a massive, militarized force that will detain and deport thousands more people while undermining the Constitution and depriving people of fundamental due process. The burden on taxpayers will be billions of dollars for more agents and detention that will be used on families, Dreamers, and people who have lived here for years. Refugees and asylum seekers will also be deprived of humanitarian protection, leaving the Statue of Liberty’s promise meaningless. Deportation by the millions and criminalizing undocumented immigrants is not what America stands for and it’s not what Americans want-it’s what the President wants. With 90 percent of Americans calling for reform that legalizes the status of the undocumented, AILA urges the House to step away from inhumane policies and map out a future that keeps our nation safe and prosperous.”

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.