Lobbying for Immigration Reform
On April 3, 2008, I participated in the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association’s National Day of Action by going to Washington DC and visiting the legislative counsel or assistants of some New York State Congressional delegations. As I do every year on that day, I, together with AILA members from around the country, lobbied for our country’s Senators and Representatives to fix the devastatingly broken immigration system. My group visited the offices of Representatives Vito Fossella, Michael McNulty and Jerrold Nadler. I joined another group in speaking to Senator Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Counsel and a Legislative Fellow. At each stop, we pushed for increases in the quota numbers for family- and employment-based immigrant visa categories. We described the need for additional highly skilled foreign workers and for a reinstatement of the previous benefits which had been available to the once approved H-2B workers. We suggested a special immigrant category for nurses in light of the dire shortage felt by all the hospitals around the country. Passage of the Dream Act, that no brainer of statute, was again encouraged. Not missing the opportunity, I again impressed each of our listeners of the importance of enacting the Uniting American Families Act and of repealing the HIV ban from the immigration law. Of course, we all agreed that the passage of a comprehensive reform package where all of these ameliorative changes would be included was the ideal but not one of these offices seemed optimistic that such a package could pass at this time. Each of them seemed to think that a piecemeal approach had more possibilities in the near future.
Something tells me that I will be back to lobby Congress next year.