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President’s Discriminatory Rhetoric Is an Affront to American Values

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s derogatory and hateful comments about Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries:

The President’s offensive comments harken back to the shameful days in American history when our immigration policies were grounded in race and nationality quotas. Americans rejected those racially biased national-origin quotas more than 50 years ago because they are intolerable in a country working to end discrimination and racism.

Our country was founded by people seeking a better life, free from discrimination, where fairness and justice are available to all, no matter one’s country of origin. Immigrants from all nations have been integral to the success of our nation. Indeed, America would not be the beacon of freedom and prosperity without the immigrants who for generations have come to our shores, from Africa, Asia, Europe, and every corner of the world.

Just past the festive weekend when we contemplated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we should renew and reinvigorate our march towards fairness, inclusion and justice. We should reject policies that discriminate based on where people come from or what god they pray to. And, we should reject the divisive and corrosive rhetoric that stands in the way of permanent reforms to protect hundreds of thousands of decent, hardworking Dreamers, and to build an immigration system that honors our history as a nation of immigrants and strengthens our future.

We must stand together, and build a future that we can be proud of. Today and every day, AILA stands with those who want to build a strong, just, and inclusive America.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

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