Non-profit

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

Logo of American Immigration Lawyers Association. (link)
Website:

www.aila.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

23-7085097

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(6)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $13,862,938
Expenses: $14,019,290
Assets: $30,374,467

Formation:

1946

Type:

Professional Membership Organization

Issue Area:

Immigration Law

Membership:

Approx. 15,000 in 39 U.S. chapters

Executive Director:

Benjamin Johnson (2015 – Present)

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a dues- and membership-supported organization for lawyers who practice immigration law. Its programs are aimed at improving the practice of immigration law, promoting liberalized immigration, and advancing the policy argument that immigrants improve the U.S. economy.[1]

AILA has been a frequent critic of the administrations of President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump for their policies of using family detention centers to house Central Americans coming into the U.S. to claim refugee status. AILA lawyers have been very active in providing pro bono legal assistance to such migrants.[2]

The American Immigration Council (AIC) is AILA’s public policy advocacy affiliate.[3] It engages in strategic lawsuits that advance AILA’s policy objectives,[4] produces policy documents that promote AILA’s agenda,[5] and sponsors foreign applicants who wish to come to the U.S. for internships and job training with U.S.-based businesses.[6] AIC frequently cites and rhetorically supports the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC),[7] a left-wing organization with a history of unreliable and reckless accusations regarding the character of its ideological opponents.[8] In addition to the financial assistance it receives from AILA, AIC receives substantial funding from several large foundations with a history of grant giving to left-wing causes, including the Ford Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy, and the Open Society Foundations founded by left-wing billionaire George Soros.[9]

Background

AILA is a 501(c)(6) professional membership organization for lawyers who represent immigrants and U.S. businesses in disputes with U.S. immigration authorities. Founded in 1946, it now reports membership of more than 15,000 attorneys organized into 39 chapters nationwide.[10] Its programs are aimed at enhancing the ability of its members to practice immigration law for the benefit of migrants, promoting liberalized immigration, and advancing the policy argument that immigrants improve the U.S. economy.[11]

AILA has been a vocal and consistent critic of the U.S. government policy of using family detention centers to house the tens of thousands of Central American citizens claiming refugee status who have been coming into the U.S. since 2014. AILA’s denunciations began when the administration of President Barack Obama launched the detention camp policy, and continued into 2018 as the administration of President Donald Trump continued it. Many AILA members have provided pro-bono legal help to the asylum seekers.[12] Its participation in the CARA Family Detention Project (CARA) is an extension of this concern.

As of 2018, Benjamin Johnson was the executive director of AILA. He took the position in 2015, moving from AILA public policy subsidiary American Immigration Council.[13]

AILA’s 2015 federal tax filings show nearly $13.8 million total revenue, with $5.4 million coming from membership dues and nearly $7.4 million from conferences and other professional services and products provided for the membership.[14]

American Immigration Council (AIC)

Also see American Immigration Council (Nonprofit)

The American Immigration Council (AIC) is an advocacy and research organization eligible to receive foundation and tax-deductible contributions that was founded as an AILA subsidiary in 1988.[15] According to AIC’s 2015 tax filing, AILA gave $258,909 in grant assistance to AIC, provided another $72,341 in donated staff time, and at least 7 of the 30 trustees on the AIC board of directors are also on the AILA board.[16]

AIC promotes expanded legal immigration and legal status for some illegal immigrants. It engages in strategic lawsuits that advance its policy objectives (such as suing the U.S. government to obtain faster hearings for asylum seekers being detained after entering the United States without permission[17]), produces policy documents that promote its agenda (such as a report arguing legal status for undocumented residents would boost U.S. job growth[18]), and sponsors foreign applicants who wish to come to the U.S. for internships and job training with U.S.-based businesses.[19]

AIC frequently cites and rhetorically supports the work of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This includes praising the objectives of SPLC lawsuits,[20] defending SPLC from its critics,[21] and joining with SPLC in litigation.[22]

In its 2015 tax documents AIC reported $4,070,277 in revenue raised, expenses of $3,782,725, and total net assets of $3,039,630.[23]

Other significant sources of AIC revenue in 2015 included large foundations with a history of giving to left-of-center advocacy organizations. Examples include $350,000 from the Foundation to Promote Open Society (founded by left-wing billionaire George Soros), [24] Unbound Philanthropy (giving $233,300), [25] and the Ford Foundation ($180,000). [26]

CARA Family Detention Project (CARA)

The CARA Family Detention Project (CARA) is an initiative that organizes pro-bono legal services for families that have entered the United States without permission and are seeking asylum. It is jointly operated by AILA, AIC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLIN), and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). “CARA” is an acronym representing the first letter of the names of the four participating organizations.[27]

At least three of the four CARA organizations receive significant funding from (or otherwise have financial associations with) the Foundation to Promote Open Society and other large foundations with a history of giving six-figure annual donations to left-learning organizations.[28]

CARA was created in response to the 2014 decision by the Obama administration to create detention facilities to house families and other residents of Central America who were entering the United States without permission seeking asylum.[29] Its activity and the funding of its participating members has increased substantially since the election of President Trump and the continued flow of asylum seekers into the United States. The Ford Foundation website shows its annual giving to AIC increased from $180,000 in 2015, to $450,000 for 2017, the latest year for which the Foundation’s website provided records.[30]

References

  1. “Mission and Goals.” American Immigration Lawyers Association. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://www.aila.org/about/mission
  2. “Expanding Family Detention Is Not the Answer to Cruel Family Separation Policy.” American Immigration Lawyers Association. June 20, 2018. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://www.aila.org/advo-media/press-releases/2018/aila-expanding-family-detention-is-not-the-answer
  3. “Executive Director Benjamin Johnson to Take Helm at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.” American Immigration Lawyer’s Association. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/news/executive-director-benjamin-johnson-take-helm-american-immigration-lawyers-association
  4. “Challenging Credible Fear Interview and Bond Hearing Delays.” American Immigration Council. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/litigation/challenging-credible-fear-interview-and-bond-hearing-delays
  5. “Immigration Reform and Job Growth.” American Immigration Council. January 20, 2011. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigration-reform-and-job-growth
  6. “Cultural Exchange.” American Immigration Council. Accessed October 23, 2018. http://exchange.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/
  7. “Search Results: Southern Poverty Law Center.” American Immigration Council. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/search/site/Southern%20poverty%20law%20center
  8. Naham, Matt. “Southern Poverty Law Center Must Pay $3.3 Million After Falsely Naming Anti-Muslim Extremists.” Law & Crime: A Dan Abrams Production. June 18, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://lawandcrime.com/lawsuit/southern-poverty-law-center-must-3-3-million-payout-after-falsely-naming-anti-muslim-extremists/
  9. Ford Foundation, IRS Form 990, 2015; Foundation to Promote Open Society, IRS Form 990, 2015; and Unbound Philanthropy, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  10. “About.” American Immigration Lawyers Association. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://www.aila.org/about
  11. “Mission and Goals.” American Immigration Lawyers Association. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://www.aila.org/about/mission
  12. “Expanding Family Detention Is Not the Answer to Cruel Family Separation Policy.” American Immigration Lawyers Association. June 20, 2018. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://www.aila.org/advo-media/press-releases/2018/aila-expanding-family-detention-is-not-the-answer
  13. “Executive Director Benjamin Johnson to Take Helm at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.” American Immigration Lawyer’s Association. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/news/executive-director-benjamin-johnson-take-helm-american-immigration-lawyers-association
  14. American Immigration Lawyers Association, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  15. “Executive Director Benjamin Johnson to Take Helm at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.” American Immigration Lawyer’s Association. Accessed October 24, 2018. https://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/news/executive-director-benjamin-johnson-take-helm-american-immigration-lawyers-association
  16. American Immigration Lawyers Association, IRS Form 990, 2015; and American Immigration Council, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  17. “Challenging Credible Fear Interview and Bond Hearing Delays.” American Immigration Council. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/litigation/challenging-credible-fear-interview-and-bond-hearing-delays
  18. “Immigration Reform and Job Growth.” American Immigration Council. January 20, 2011. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigration-reform-and-job-growth
  19. “Cultural Exchange.” American Immigration Council. Accessed October 23, 2018. http://exchange.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/
  20. Johnson, Tory. “Government Sued For Withholding Records on Immigration Raids.” American Immigration Council. August 11, 2016. Accessed October 23, 2018. http://immigrationimpact.com/2016/08/11/immigration-raids-lawsuit/
  21. Ewing, Walter. “Restrictionist Group Strikes Back.” American Immigration Council. March 18, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2018. http://immigrationimpact.com/2010/03/18/restrictionist-group-strikes-back/
  22. “SPLC lawsuit challenges Trump administration’s turnback policy against asylum seekers.” Southern Poverty Law Center. October 15, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org/news/2018/10/15/splc-lawsuit-challenges-trump-administration%E2%80%99s-turnback-policy-against-asylum-seekers
  23. American Immigration Council, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  24. Foundation to Promote Open Society, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  25. Unbound Philanthropy, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  26. “Grants database: Immigration.” Ford Foundation. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/grants-database/grants-all?search=%26SearchText%3DImmigration&page=0&minyear=2014&maxyear=2016
  27. “Who.” CARA Pro Bono. Accessed October 23, 2018. http://caraprobono.org/partners/
  28. Foundation to Promote Open Society, IRS Form 990, 2015.
  29. “Who.” CARA Pro Bono. Accessed October 23, 2018. http://caraprobono.org/partners/
  30. “Grants database: Immigration.” Ford Foundation. Accessed October 23, 2018. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/grants-database/grants-all?search=%26SearchText%3DImmigration&page=0&minyear=2016&maxyear=2018
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1974

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990 $13,862,938 $14,019,290 $30,374,467 $19,907,366 Y $0 $10,244,481 $161,731 $696,087 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $14,558,637 $13,965,705 $31,074,642 $20,189,681 Y $0 $9,943,964 $163,641 $532,442 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $13,160,769 $13,129,959 $29,944,530 $18,698,007 Y $0 $9,809,566 $121,440 $538,895 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $12,825,199 $12,580,888 $30,227,847 $19,255,529 Y $0 $8,589,271 $86,875 $529,846 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $12,139,837 $11,344,406 $29,620,491 $18,374,523 Y $0 $8,862,682 $71,140 $509,268 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

    1331 G ST NW STE 300
    WASHINGTON, DC 20005-3142