WASHINGTON, DC (July 9, 2009) - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the recommendations released today by an independent and bipartisan task force on immigration at the Council on Foreign Relations. The task force, led by former Governor Jeb Bush (R -FL) and former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, presented their recommendations during a panel discussion this morning. The task force warned that the current broken immigration system risks serious damage to U.S. national interests.
"This is a promising sign that comprehensive immigration reform is possible," said Bernie Wolfsdorf, president of AILA. "This proves that the political landscape regarding immigration reform is changing and that consensus is possible across party lines."
The panel also recommended "earned legalization, not amnesty" for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States, requiring those who wish to stay to work, pay taxes, learn English, pass background checks, pay fines and wait their turn behind legal immigrants. It also called for strong border enforcement and a mandatory work document verification system based on fingerprints or eye scans which AILA would support only as part of a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws.