Without a doubt President Biden has made immigration a priority – through executive actions and a proposal for legislation to reform our immigration system the Biden Administration is keeping many of its campaign promises. These are all welcomed changes, but this yo-yo style of governing needs to stop! It’s not good for our members, for their clients, or for our shared prosperity. Congress must act if there is to be lasting immigration policy.
The new power dynamics in Congress mean there is an opportunity, albeit slim and not easy, to advance AILA’s immigration priorities, like improving the inefficiencies that exist in USCIS, reforming our immigration court system, reducing the use of detention, and providing a path to citizenship to those whose home is here. The American Dream and Promise Act, as well as the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, are among the bills we expect to see the House and Senate take up in the coming weeks.
AILA National has been working on advancing these priorities. However, we cannot advance them without our members and their clients taking an active role. To move immigration policy and law forward requires YOU.
As immigration lawyers, you know first-hand the human impact and consequences of Congress’s action or inactions. You know how immigration laws and policies can positively or negatively affect individuals, families, local economies and communities. As constituents, you have the right to contact and meet with your member of Congress and share your expertise and recommendations for the future of immigration law and policy.
AILA’s 2021 National Day of Action (NDA) – which will be virtual on Thursday, April 22 – is an opportunity for AILA members to advocate for AILA’s legislative and policy priorities.
Yes – that means that hundreds of AILA members from across the country and world will meet with members of Congress through video conference from their home or office. And let’s be honest, it may not feel as immediate and real as when we get caught in a random rain shower between Capitol Hill buildings or catch an elevator with a Senator. But seeing each other, and more importantly seeing our congressional delegations and their staff, via video will ensure that our collective voice will be heard. Congress must hear our call for action even if we can’t hold a rousing lunch in the Kennedy Caucus Room.
Newly elected members of Congress – especially moderates from both sides of the aisle — need to hear about the impact and consequences of their actions or lack of action upon the district or state they represent. Our immigration champions also need to hear from constituents that their actions are being noticed and that they still must do more. Frankly, legislators who do not share our views need to hear from us too! Even if these meetings are not likely to change the lawmakers’ position, they serve as a record that constituents hold different views and that residents of their district or state are looking to them to act in the best interests of constituents.
For Congress to act, we must all do our part.
For more information on what participating in NDA entails, read our Frequently Asked Questions. For information on registration visit: www.aila.org/NDA. Participation for NDA is limited and will close when your chapter’s participation limit has been met – or on March 19 – whichever occurs first.