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The American Immigration Lawyers Association issued a warning to immigrant rights activists asking them to behave at their upcoming annual conference in San Diego:
There is no question that activism in the communities also is helping to move the ball forward. Those who are so engaged have our respect, admiration and at times involvement. That being said, a professional gathering is not a setting for such forms of activism. We ask that people who are attending the conference behave as the professionals and aspiring professionals that they are, and treat speakers with at least minimal courtesy. Disruptions at a conference of professionals can hurt the dialog role that AILA plays. And we all need to play the different roles we have to make the difference that needs to be made.
Some immigrant rights activists had earlier expressed concerns about AILA’s keynote speaker line-up of ICE Assistant Director John Morton and USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
I’m not even going to get into how the word “professional” is used to disparage lived experiences and police behavior, especially in this context. I’m also not sure about the need for such strong words especially since no one I know was planning to do anything besides have a good time.
Now the conference sounds like an open challenge to make a point. Maybe it does get better after all.