Implementation and enforcement of the immigration laws have a significant impact on both the national security and economic interests of the United States and also have implications for individual civil liberties of those who are present in our country. The last major overhaul of the immigration laws was enacted in 1996 and there is widespread agreement that our immigration system is in dire need of reform.
The ABA supports comprehensive immigration reform that promotes legal immigration based on family reunification and employment skills and that provides for new legal channels for future workers, a path to legal status for much of the undocumented population currently residing in the United States, and enhanced border security. The ABA supports measures to improve the immigration court system and to increase due process safeguards, including access to counsel, for those in removal proceedings. The ABA opposes mandatory detention of those in removal proceedings, supports alternatives to detention, and supports strengthening the ICE National Detention Standards and promulgating them into enforceable regulations.