AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
Minnesota / Dakotas Chapter
Founded in 1946, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a national bar association of attorneys who practice and teach immigration law. AILA Member attorneys represent tens of thousands of U.S. businesses and industries, foreign students, entertainers, athletes, and asylum seekers, often on a pro-bono basis. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association.
Proposed Immigration Restrictions as Part of Federal Funding Bill
The Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is disturbed by reports that the White House and members of Congress are considering compromises that would gut asylum protections and humanitarian parole as part of a funding bill. Not only is such a trade-off misguided and counterproductive, but it is cruelly ironic to link funding, including money for Ukraine, to immigration cuts that would destroy the very system that protects those displaced by violent conflict in Ukraine.
Humanitarian protections are an essential element of our immigration system and our moral fabric as a nation. Current proposals to codify the asylum transit ban, expand expedited removal nationwide, heighten the Credible Fear standard for asylum seekers at our border, impose unlawful numerical limitations on asylum, and limit or end humanitarian parole are unrelated to effective management of our southern border and would be devastating for our clients and immigrant communities throughout our Chapter.
The Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter opposes such legislative compromises that would walk away from our country’s humanitarian commitments and abandon effective immigration policy. The Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter further supports AILA’s recent statement urging Congress and President Biden to focus on actual solutions for border security and management along with smart immigration solutions, including those in President Biden’s Executive Order on managing migration.
StarTribune Counterpoint Opinion piece, Sept. 2022
In an oft-quoted expression, paraphrasing the 18th-century philosopher Jonathan Swift, “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” This expression is particularly apparent in recent political rhetoric weaponizing the situation along our southern border, including the Sept. 2 letter “This can’t go on.” The letter writer parrots many of the inaccurate and false statements that have been disseminated by conservative news outlets and politicians over the past 18 months. As experts in the field of immigration law, we wish to correct the record with respect to several points made in the letter. Click here to read the full opinion piece.
Statement on Overturn of Roe v. Wade, June 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade’s 50-year-old precedent is devastating. As practitioners, we’ve relied on historic precedent such as this as a basic cornerstone of liberty and equality – the very fundamental rights that so many of our clients are searching for when they come to the United States. Today’s decision should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who has not yet connected the struggle for reproductive rights with the ongoing criminalization and abandonment of our immigrant communities. Click here for full statement.
Statement on Ukraine – March 2022
The Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) sympathizes with the Ukrainian people as their country is under attack, and we support AILA’s efforts to call upon the Biden Administration to immediately ensure relief to Ukrainian nationals. These efforts include, but are not limited to: (1) the expeditious adjudication of cases pending with the USCIS that were filed by or on behalf of Ukrainian nationals; (2) the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS); (3) the implementation of a temporary moratorium on removals to Ukraine; (4) the removal of the requirement of a pre-departure COVID 19 test for those traveling to the United States from Ukraine; and (5) the facilitation of issuance of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, humanitarian parole, and refugee status for Ukrainian nationals displaced by the recent uprising. We also welcome the actions of the Department of Homeland Security, announced on March 31, 2022. Such actions are consistent with America’s domestic and international obligations to provide safe haven those fleeing war, persecution, and civil strife. Here is a list of resources for those interested in helping with local efforts.
Afghanistan Relief – August 2021
Many members have asked what they can do to help with evacuation efforts and other forms of relief for those trying to flee Afghanistan. We know that local resettlement agencies are resettling Afghans with ties to Minnesota. We also know that large groups of Afghan evacuees are being sent to Virginia, California, and Texas. Our pro bono committee is in regular contact with resettlement agencies. In the event that committee hears of plans for large groups of Afghans to come to Minnesota, we will most likely need pro bono assistance. In the meantime, here is a list of resources for those interested in helping with this effort.
Statement in Response to Increase in Violence and Hate Crimes Targeting the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community – March 2021
The Executive Committee of the AILA MN/Dakotas Chapter has issued a public statement in response to the increase in violence and hate crimes targeting members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, culminating in last week’s horrific murders in Atlanta. As part of our chapter’s commitment to promote anti-racist policies supporting all communities of color, we encourage members to support the AAPI community in several ways. Click here for the full statement.
Statement on Anti-Racism – May 2020
We recognize that the city of Minneapolis has a problem with structural racism that has long existed but was made excruciatingly visible with the death of George Floyd. The Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of AILA is committed to continuing the hard work of dismantling structural racism that exists in Minnesota and across the country. Read the MN/Dakotas Chapter’s full statement on anti-racism here.