Author: David Leopold

The Time Is Now: Five Reasons Why Congress Will Pass Immigration Reform

Things are different this time around. The passion is different, the energy is different and, most of all, America is different.  As Congress gets ready to take on what is arguably the most contentious issue in the country, there is no mistaking it: America is ready to create an immigration process that will protect our borders, keep our families safe and together, give our businesses the tools they need to compete in the global economy, and provide a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring citizens currently living in the shadows. And why are things different?  Here’s what’s changed since 2007, the last time an immigration bill was presented to Congress: 1.       The Latino Vote The 2012 presidential election will be remembered not only for the re-election of the first African-American president, but for the power of the Latino vote.  To be sure, as Americans, Latinos are concerned about issues other than immigration—including health care, the economy, gun violence, and education.  But for them, the broken immigration system is personal.  It doesn’t go away with the flick of a television switch. Many Latino voters have a family member or close friend entangled in the web of arcane rules and confusing regulations known as U.S. immigration law.  Someone in their life–a parent, a brother, a cousin, a friend– is threatened with deportation. Last year, President Obama, after presiding over...

Read More

By Reelecting Barack Obama, the American People Have Demanded Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Originally posted on Huffington Post American voters chose to renew their contract with a President whose vision of economic vitality involves three distinct pillars — innovation, education and rebuilding of America’s infrastructure. Nearly two years ago, during his 2011 State of the Union address, Mr. Obama, speaking eloquently of this generation’s “Sputnik Moment,” recognized that immigration reform was key to this goal and declared he was “prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.” By reelecting President Obama and, at the same time, retaining a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the American people — including a whopping 70-plus percent plus of Latino voters — have directed both parties to work together to implement Mr. Obama’s vision. The electorate spoke loud and clear Tuesday, ordering Washington to put aside partisan politics and overhaul America’s broken immigration system so that our families remain safe and together, our businesses regain their competitive edge in the global economy and due process is restored and protected. Amid the incessant post-election punditry and analysis one thing is crystal clear; the American people have demanded positive immigration solutions and an end to the anti-immigrant/Latino extremism that has polluted the immigration debate. On Wednesday House Speaker John Boehner, sounding a conciliatory tone after the votes were counted, said that his party is...

Read More

The Miracle of the Moment: Reflections on the Anniversary of 9/11

A version of this blog was posted on 9/11/2011 and on Huffington Post As we go through life most of us are rarely present in the moment. Our minds are elsewhere. What shade of green was the tree you passed a month ago on the way to work? What were you thinking about? What did you feel? Were you sad, happy, or anxious? Did you see anyone? What did they look like? Was it cloudy, humid, cool or hot? Do you remember? What does it mean to be present in the moment? Just take a look at a dog. It lives present in the moment. A wag of the tail or a growl or yelp says exactly what it experiences in real time; the pleasure of satiation or the pain of hunger, fear, aggression, or submissiveness. Dogs have no pretenses, are not encumbered by embarrassment, nor feel the need to avoid their true feelings. What you see is what is happening in present time inside and out. A human, on the other hand, can be smiling, laughing, crying, or completely idle, but his or her mind can be off in the distant past or far into the future. For us the present is all too often a brief transit point on the way to the past or future. Maybe that explains why we observe anniversaries; trivial and significant, happy...

Read More

Reminding Christopher Crane That He Is President Of The ICE Union, Not The United States

The last I checked federal bureaucrats are supposed to implement the administration’s policies, not publicly obstruct them. So why is Christopher Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council — the union of 7,000 immigration agents, officers, and employees — engaging in a pattern of open insubordination designed to thwart the president’s effort to deport dangerous criminal aliens and national security risks? Crane is livid about President Obama’s Deferred Action plan, announced on June 15, to temporarily defer the removal of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. years ago as children and have shown promise by furthering their education or preparing to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Crane has the audacity to publicly challenge President Obama’s view that it makes more sense to deport violent criminals and national security risks than young students, graduates, and veterans. Someone should remind Crane that the American people elected Mr. Obama president, not him. Crane was a featured speaker Monday at a Capitol Hill press conference organized by a group of Republican Senators to denounce the President’s Deferred Action program. According to press reports, the ICE union president claimed: Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual’s claims. Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go… Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove...

Read More

Supreme Court Deals a Major Blow to Arizona’s Immigration Law

Originally published on Huffington Post Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and the nativists who wrote Arizona’s SB 1070 are putting the best public spin they can on today’s Supreme Court decision but they’re undoubtedly licking their wounds in private. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a loud and clear voice, blocked three key pillars of the Arizona law — the provisions making it a crime for immigrants to fail to register under a federal law, making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work or solicit work, and allowing the police to arrest people without warrants if they have probable cause to believe that they have done things that would make them deportable under federal law. This is a significant blow to the guts of the Arizona immigration statute and its impact will be felt across the country in other states — most notably Alabama and Georgia, which have enacted similar anti-immigrant provisions. And the Court didn’t mince words. It made abundantly clear that immigration law is a federal matter and states should keep their hands off. Using strong language it said that these provisions were clearly preempted by federal law because they stand as obstacles to the enforcement of immigration law as enacted by Congress. The subtext of the Court’s decision is that if each state were permitted to enact its own immigration enforcement scheme, then there would be little...

Read More

Take Action

Take Action

AILA’s Advocacy Action Center allows you to advocate for legislative and policy reforms consistent with AILA’s principles and priorities.


Follow AILA on Twitter

Immigration 2017 – A New President and Congress

Immigration 2017

Visit this resource page to stay on top of the changing immigration environment under the Trump administration.

Immigration Quicktakes

AILA Quicktake #213: DACA, SB4, and Congressional Preview

AILA Events

Calendar

Stay informed and connected with AILA’s in-person and online events.