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December 06, 2018


In a Nov. 27 statement, ABA President Robert M. Carlson urged Congress and the White House to “craft a comprehensive, peaceful resolution to our nation’s immigration challenges and to devote more resources to alleviate the backlog of asylum claims on the border and in the United States’ immigration courts.” Carlson, responding to escalating tensions at the southern U.S. border with Mexico, called on leaders to embrace the United States’ historic foundation as a safe haven for immigrants and refugees and demonstrate compassion for asylum seekers, many of whom are fleeing unacceptable levels of violence in their home countries. He pointed out that over the years the United States has created a comprehensive process to evaluate asylum claims effectively and grants safe haven to those who meet the legally authorized standards. The United States has rejected individuals who pose a threat. He emphasized that the country needs additional judges and support staff to eliminate the backlog of more than 700,000 cases in U.S. immigration courts and that nothing should impede access to counsel to diminish due process of law for people seeking asylum. “Our nation’s immigration challenges cannot be resolved by piecemeal actions or violence,” Carlson said, urging that Congress adopt comprehensive laws addressing immigration policy, including asylum, detention, and the future of undocumented young people who were brought to this country by their parents.