Although the issue of immigration is a divisive one, many agree that the separation of families at the southern border was an appalling practice that needed to cease. As such, during MSBA’s annual business meeting on June 16, 2018, members voted unanimously to support the American Bar Association’s (ABA) call for Congressional intervention to end the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which led to the arbitrary separation of more than 2,000 children from their families along the nation’s southwestern border. Following this vote, the President signed an executive order which ended the practice of separating families; however, it failed to address the reunification of families that had been previously separated, and falls far short of comprehensive immigration reform.

In recent statements ABA President Hilarie Bass has continued to advocate for efficient and expeditious reunification of families previously separated. Additionally, Bass and the ABA have advocated for comprehensive immigration reform and have urged that “asylum seekers legally approaching ports of entry should not be turned away or told to return later” as “[o]ur country has the obligation to accept legal asylum seekers and not force them to try to enter the country illegally or face other dangers as they wait for reentry.”    

The MSBA supports President Bass and the ABA’s ongoing efforts related to this important issue, and invites MSBA members to lend their voice to this important effort.