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AILA Statement on Visa Bulletin Announcement: A Reversal for the Rule of Law

Jul 18, 2007

The following is a statement from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

AILA Statement on Visa Bulletin Announcement: A Reversal for the Rule of Law

AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07071868 (posted Jul. 18, 2007)

U.S. Government Reverses Green Card Application Decision

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds the government for its reversal today of its July 2 refusal to allow thousands of highly skilled workers to make the last filing on the legal path to a green card. AILA also applauds those whose efforts helped to bring this change about.

AILA members and their clients--both employers and employees--objected to the July 2 decision in a manner that was at once emphatic and measured. From the sending of flowers to the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to the phone calls and letters, to the blogs and message boards that lit up with outrage, the affected communities let their voices be heard. A number of members of the press picked up the story, notwithstanding the complicated legalities, and did a fine job of shining a public light on this matter.

Many members of Congress stepped up to question the actions of the agencies. Foremost among these was Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who strongly challenged USCIS to either justify its actions or reverse them. Her sense of outrage matched that of the affected communities, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to Ms. Lofgren.

Last, but far from least, the American Immigration Law Foundation's Legal Action Center prepared, and this week was poised to file, a class action lawsuit that highlighted the illegalities of the government's actions. The work of AILF, as well as other attorneys and their clients around the country, who also stood ready to sue, played a pivotal role in ensuring that USCIS remember the place of the rule of law in government.

"It is reassuring to see that the call to adhere to the rule of law still carries the weight that it must in our nation. I am proud of the actions of AILA, AILF, Rep. Lofgren and many of her colleagues, and of course the thousands affected by the government's lawless actions, for standing up for what is right," said Kathleen Campbell Walker, President of AILA. "The silence of those who recently exhibited such fervor during the immigration reform debate for compliance with the letter of the law was deafening on this issue. Where is their egalitarian stance as to those who follow the rules to the letter while trying to become permanent residents? It's time that all were unified in favor of an orderly and rational immigration system."

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