Calling today’s controversy about the number of legal immigrants who should be admitted to the U.S., “a debate about the competitiveness of American companies on international markets,” Daryl Buffenstein urged fellow members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to resist legislative efforts to reduce the current numbers.

Mr. Buffenstein, who assumed the presidency of the association at a conference held in Atlanta June 16, quoted H.L. Mencken as having “one thing right when he said that to every complex problem there is a very simple answer, and it’s always wrong.”

During his speech, he endorsed “a flexible immigration policy within clearly enforceable limits within which an employer can individually petition for a specific worker and can bring that person in without quota delays or backlogs.”

An attorney with the Atlanta office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Mr. Buffenstein alluded to a company in Norcross which might need the services of European experts to develop exports.  “Now you go and tell that company out in Norcross, Georgia, which is exporting 60% of its product to the Asian markets….that they are going to have to wait for 10 years to bring that person into the country because the quotas only allow 5,000.”  The current number of legal immigrants allowed to enter the U.S. annually is some 800,000, but legislation in the U.S. Congress  has been introduced which would sharply reduce the number, even to as few as 5,000. A blue ribbon commission has suggested a number of some 500,000.

Mr. Buffenstein also called the attempt to solve the country’s problems with illegal immigration by cutting legal migration, “the biggest lie of this decade.”  And he encouraged members of the association to join “in a vigorous campaign to defend legal immigration.”

He may be reached by telephone at (404) 815-2232; or by fax at (404) 815-2424.