November 21, 2014

Statement of William C. Hubbard, president, American Bar Association Re: Executive order by President Obama on immigration reform

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2014— The American Bar Association believes that the Executive Order on immigration signed by President Obama is one step toward a better functioning, more realistic and humane system, but strongly calls for a more comprehensive and permanent legislative solution.

Our immigration policy is broken and a more systemic and a long-term solution through legislation is required. ABA policy supports legal immigration based on family reunification and employment skills, due process safeguards in immigration and asylum adjudications and judicial review of such decisions.

The ABA’s decades-long push for immigration reform has been coupled with on-the-ground measures to help improve the situation by providing pro bono legal assistance to people going through the immigration process.

The association continues its support of the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) and the Immigration Justice Project (IJP), which are legal programs that train and mentor pro bono attorneys to provide legal representation in immigration proceedings. The ABA recently created a new working group to respond to the immigration crisis related to unaccompanied immigrant children with special emphasis on ensuring children are represented by competent counsel in immigration proceedings. The group recently launched the Immigrant Child Advocacy Network, a comprehensive website to provide information and resources for volunteer attorneys, advocates, policymakers and journalists.

Congress and the administration need to come together on this issue to produce long-term, fair legislation that deals humanely and realistically in revising our immigration process and addressing the problem of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country.

Please click here for a biography and photo of William C. Hubbard, president of the American Bar Association.


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