About the Commission on Immigration

The Commission directs the Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States. Acting in coordination with other Association entities, as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies, the Commission:

Advocacy

advocates for statutory and regulatory modifications in law and governmental practice consistent with ABA policy;

Education

provides continuing education and timely information about trends, court decisions and pertinent developments for members of the legal community, judges, affected individuals and the public; and

Development

develops and assists the operation of pro bono programs that encourage volunteer lawyers to provide high quality, effective legal representation for individuals in immigration proceedings, with a special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations.

History of the Commission on Immigration

Guided by resolutions adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, the Commission works to coordinate and strengthen the ABA’s response to legal developments and to address the needs of immigrants and newcomers. Among our greatest concerns are the erosion of due process safeguards, the growing reliance on detention, and the lack of access to legal information and counsel for individuals in immigration proceedings, including vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied immigrant children and mentally disabled individuals. The ABA Board of Governors has designated immigration to be a legislative priority of the ABA in each Congress since 1992.

1983

The Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law was established by the ABA House of Delegates

following House of Delegates approval of a comprehensive package of policies on pending immigration reform legislation.

1990

Advisory Committee to the Immigration Pro Bono Development and Bar Activation Project

Created with a Ford Foundation grant to establish a project to develop pro bono resources in immigrant communities through provision of technical assistance and mini-grants awarded to bar associations.

2002

Merger of Entities

In May 2002, the ABA Board of Governors approved a merger of the two entities into the Commission on Immigration, Policy, Practice and Pro Bono.

2005

Advisory Committee added

The Board of Governors established the 10-member Advisory Committee to the Commission in 2005.

2014

Named Shortened to "Commission on Immigration"