The impact of uncontrolled illegal immigration and unfettered legal immigration has become a growing crisis. Exacerbating this problem has been decades of inaction by presidential administrations that have refused to enforce our immigration laws as written, and exploited the critical immigration issue for political expediency. Consequently, state and local officials have been forced to take matters into their own hands – enacting their own immigration legislation and policies – to protect the vital needs of their communities. Too often, however, local activists have proposed immigration enforcement legislation without a proper grounding in the intricate relationship between federal and state law, resulting in courts striking down the measures.
That's where IRLI comes in! Since the 1980s, IRLI’s legal team
has drafted and defended strategically important legislation and policy at the request of federal, state, and local legislators and government officials to help solve the nation’s immigration crisis. This gives concerned public officials who want to respond to important constituent concerns and resident complaints without intruding on civil rights a place to turn for advice. Our legislative and policy proposals often have served as a framework for the national policy debate on immigration. IRLI's attorneys have also frequently been called to testify as expert witnesses on federal, state and local immigration-related legislation. Being asked to testify before a legislative body is an indication that the people who make our laws believe that the information and views being presented are authoritative and provide valuable perspective on national issues.
Although Congress passes laws, federal agencies under the control of the executive branch wield immense influence in the interpretation and application of laws through administrative rulemaking. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires that before enacting a rule or regulation, an agency must first solicit and consider public comments. The APA also requires federal agencies give interested persons the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule or regulation. IRLI also represents American interests in the formulation of agency rules and regulations through public comments and petitions for rulemaking to ensure agencies do not exceed their delegated authority, conform to congressional intent, and craft good policy.