American Immigration Lawyers Association


The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of more than 11,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. AILA works with pro bono attorneys to represent low income and indigent immigrants before the agency and the federal courts nationwide. In addition to the many pro bono initiatives at AILA chapters across the country, AILA supports the Military Assistance Project (MAP), AILA Citizenship Day, and the AILA Member Pro Bono Pledge.

AILA Military Assistance Program (MAP)

AILA MAP is a collaborative effort between the AILA and the Legal Assistance Offices of the United States Military Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) to expand immigration legal assistance for members of the military. As the diversity of our military changes, increasing numbers of service men and women must deal with immigration legal matters within their immediate families. Attorneys in JAG offices seldom have immigration expertise, so AILA MAP enlists experienced AILA lawyers to assist in these cases on a pro bono basis so service members do not have the stress and fear that a family member could be deported while they are deployed overseas. Utilizing volunteers from AILA chapters across America and two international chapters, we match volunteer attorneys with military personnel stationed around the globe. For more information or to volunteer, please contact AILA Pro Bono Associate Susan Timmons at stimmons@aila.org.

AILA National Citizenship Day

As a single-day, nationwide event, AILA Citizenship Day provides free or low-cost assistance to eligible legal permanent residents who wish to apply for U.S. citizenship, utilizing partnerships between AILA chapters across the country and grassroots organizations. Over the past 4 years, AILA Citizenship Day has grown to include more than 25 chapters participating annually. AILA has developed a comprehensive index of materials available online at www.aila.org/citizenshipday. These materials provide a chapter wishing to participate in a Citizenship Day event with everything necessary to sponsor a successful event. If your chapter has never participated and you are interested in spearheading an event, contact AILA for assistance.

AILA Member Pro Bono Pledge

The AILA Member Pro Bono Pledge is an association-wide effort to inspire and support each other to publicly commit, or recommit, ourselves to pro bono service. AILA members have a long and respected history of being extremely generous with their time by providing pro bono services to their communities. Even with the valiant efforts of so many, the need for pro bono continues to grow. Increased worksite enforcement, community "sweeps" by local authorities, and a broken immigration system have brought about a need for immigration legal assistance that is greater than ever before. As attorneys, we have a professional responsibility to help meet this need. And as attorneys specializing in immigration practice as well as being members of AILA, we are in a unique position to act. If you are an AILA member, take the pledge at www.aila.org/probonopledge.