Benjamin Johnson is the Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Washington, DC. AILA is the national association of more than 14,000 immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Mr. Johnson has studied and worked in the immigration field for more than 20 years. A former immigration attorney, Mr. Johnson joined the American Immigration Council (The Council) in Washington, DC in 2003, eventually serving as its Executive Director. The Council is one of the nation’s leading non-profit, educational organizations in the field of immigration dedicated to increasing public understanding of immigration law and policy and the role of immigration in American society. Prior to that, Mr. Johnson served as the Associate Director of Advocacy for AILA in Washington, DC from 1999 to 2003, working directly with members of Congress and the Administration on legislation to reform immigration laws. He has written extensively on immigration law and policy and has been an invited to present testimony on immigration issues before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He is a frequent guest commentator on television and radio, with appearances on programs including on CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox News, BBC World News, National Public Radio, and C-SPAN. He has been quoted by print outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg.
A native of Arizona, Mr. Johnson was the co-founder and legal Director of the Immigration Outreach Center in Phoenix. Prior to becoming involved in immigration issues he was a public defender and civil litigation attorney in San Diego, CA. He earned a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and studied International and Comparative Law at Kings College in London.