Agenda: Monday, July 20th 


Conference Kick-Off 9:45 am–10:30 am ET

Conference Kick-Off

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The virtual conference and exhibition, brought to you by AILA University, will allow practitioners from all immigration practice areas to unite virtually for four days of education, innovation, inspiration, and collaboration in a series of programming and events. Each day will focus on a different substantive practice area and will offer concurrent tracks, one on fundamentals and one with intermediate-advanced level programming.

Join your fellow AILA members to hear from AILA’s outgoing president, Marketa Lindt, about AILA’s accomplishments during the last year. Following this, AILA’s incoming president, Jennifer Minear, will share her vision for AILA’s future. Don’t miss this chance to get to know Jennifer and hear her plans for continuing to strengthen AILA during her tenure!

Keynote 11:00 am–11:30 am ET


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Agenda and Speakers

The Honorable Tim Kaine, U.S. Senator, Virginia

Hot Topics Part II 11:45 am–12:45 pm ET

Hot Topics Part II

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AILA’s Executive Committee presented Hot Topics Part I with AILA’s June governance events. This panel will build on that presentation and cover the latest developments in immigration law through the conference.

Thank you to Tracker Corp for sponsoring this session.

Tracker Corp
Agenda and Speakers

  • Gayle Oshrin (DL), 2020 AILA Annual Conference Program Committee Chair, New York, NY
  • Ira J. Kurzban, AILA Author, Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook/AILA Past President, Miami, FL
  • Jeff Joseph, AILA Secretary/Administrative Litigation Task Force Vice Chair, Denver, CO
  • Dagmar Butte, AILA Board of Governors/FOIA Committee Chair, Portland, OR
  • Dree K. Collopy, Chair of the AILA National Asylum and Refugee Liaison Committee, Washington, DC


Nonimmigrant Overview 9:45 am–11:00 am ET

Nonimmigrant Overview

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The objective of this panel is to give new practitioners a basic overview of the nonimmigrant visa categories. Panelists will cover all nonimmigrant visa categories, from visitors to temporary workers, and will address when each is appropriate for clients. The information in this panel is intended to serve as a basis for a more detailed analysis of these visas offered in other sessions.

Agenda and Speakers

  • B-1 and B-2: Visitors
  • E-1 and E-2: Treaty Traders and Investors
  • H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3: Temporary Workers
  • H-2A and H-2B: Seasonal Workers
  • TN: Canadian and Mexican Professionals
  • L-1A and L-1B: Intracompany Transferees
  • O: Extraordinary Individuals
  • P: Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers
  • R: Religious Workers

Maggie M. Murphy (DL), AILA Board of Governors, Austin, TX
Elizabeth R. Edwards, Charlotte, NC
Margaret Holland Sparages, Boston, MA
Tahmina Watson, Seattle, WA

Nonimmigrant Visa Consular Processing 101 11:30 am–12:30 pm ET

Nonimmigrant Visa Consular Processing 101

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Panelists will address the basics of nonimmigrant visa consular practice at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad. They will discuss the overall process and identify common challenges faced by clients when they apply for nonimmigrant visas.

Agenda and Speakers

  • “Don’t I Just Pick Up My Visa at the Consulate?” Difference Between Petition Approval and Visa Issuance
  • The Visa Application Process: Step-by-Step Instructions, Tips on Dealing with the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit, Common Issues in Completing Form DS-160
  • “When Will the Visa Be Issued?” Understanding Extreme Vetting and Administrative Processing Challenges
  • What About Canadians? Does the Foreign National Need a Visa?
  • Inadmissibility and Waiver Issues, Dealing with Visa Denials

Joel H. Paget (DL), Seattle, WA
Sylvia Livits-Ayass, AILA New York Chapter Chair, New York, NY
Daniel J. Parisi, London, England
Peter Yost, Minneapolis, MN

Adjustment of Status and Immigrant Visa Processing 1:15 pm–2:15 pm ET

Adjustment of Status and Immigrant Visa Processing

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Panelists will provide an overview of adjustment of status (AOS) and consular processing in family and employment-based contexts. They also will discuss initial requirements for AOS and consular processing, the forms and supporting documentation required, and red-flag issues that may complicate or slow the process.

Agenda and Speakers

  • The AOS Package and Ancillary Applications: I-485, I-485 Supplement J, I-765, I-864, I- 131, I-693, and Supporting Documentation
  • Potential Problems: Entry Without Inspection, Intent at Entry, Unauthorized Employment
  • Adjustment Under INA §245(i)
  • Working with the National Visa Center (NVC), Visa Reciprocity Pages
  • Consular Processing and Supporting Documentation

John T. Medeiros (DL), Minneapolis, MN
Renata Castro, Pompano Beach, FL
Ellen S. Kief, Vancouver, Canada
Lauren Ross, San Francisco, CA

Naturalization 101 2:45 pm–3:45 pm ET

Naturalization 101

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Panelists will cover who is eligible to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the basic requirements, and the process for naturalization. They also will discuss the impact longer processing times and USCIS policy changes can have for clients. Finally, panelists will identify circumstances when filing an N-400 is not in the best interests of the client.

Agenda and Speakers

  • Overview of Eligibility Requirements for Naturalization
  • Continuous Residence, Physical Presence, and Good Moral Character Requirements
  • English Language and Civics Testing, Exemptions, and Waivers
  • Timing Issues
  • “What Do You Mean I’ll Never Be a U.S. Citizen?” When Not to File for Naturalization

Susan W. Ramos (DL), Asheville, NC
Kathrin S. Mautino, San Diego, CA
Aleksandr Y. Troyb, Stamford, CT
Olsa Alikaj-Cano, Houston, TX

Family-Based Immigration 101 4:15 pm–5:15 pm ET

Family-Based Immigration 101

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Panelists will provide a general overview of what is essentially the core of our immigration system. New practitioners should attend this session to gain an understanding of family-based immigration law and establish the foundation needed when attending more in-depth fundamentals panels.

Agenda and Speakers

  • Overview of Family Categories: Immediate Relatives and Preference Category Relatives
  • Understanding the Quota System and Visa Bulletin
  • The I-130 Petition (Invitation to the Party)
  • Adjustment of Status/Consular Processing (the R.S.V.P.)
  • Marriage-Based Cases and Establishing the Bona Fides of the Relationship
  • Changes in Family Status/Relationships: Death, Divorce, Marriage, Aging-Out

Kari Ann Fonte (DL), AILA USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee Chair, Coral Gables, FL
Erin Cobb, AILA Chicago Chapter Chair, Chicago, IL
Spojmie Ahmady Nasiri, Pleasanton, CA
Jennifer S. Varughese, McLean, VA

VAWA, T Visas, and U Visas 5:45 pm–6:45 pm ET

VAWA, T Visas, and U Visas

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Panelists in this fundamentals session will provide an overview of remedies for victims of mental and physical abuse, crimes, and human trafficking.

Agenda and Speakers

  • Applying for VAWA: What Constitutes Abuse and Proof of Eligibility?
  • U Visas: Qualifying Crimes and Victims, Obtaining Certification, Backlogs
  • T Visas: Identifying Qualifying Victims of Labor or Sex Trafficking
  • The Path to Permanent Residence Through VAWA, U Visas, and T Visas

Ericka C. Curran (DL), Dayton, OH
Veronica Thronson, East Lansing, MI
Alexander G. Vernon, Detroit, MI

Family Track

Identifying and Dealing with Complex Marriage-Based I-130 Issues 1:15 pm–2:15 pm ET

Identifying and Dealing with Complex Marriage-Based I-130 Issues

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Panelists on this intermediate/advanced panel will focus on complex and uncommon issues in marriage-based cases.

Agenda and Speakers

  • When Your Client Has a Previously Denied Marriage-Based I-130
  • How to Prove Good Faith When Traditional Bona Fides Are Not Available
  • When Your Married Couple Doesn’t Speak the Same Language and Other Glaring Red Flags
  • Preparing Couples for Stokes/Separated Interviews
  • Living Apart but Still Together: Cohabiting in a New Era

The Truth Behind the New Public Charge Regulations 2:45 pm–3:45 pm ET

The Truth Behind the New Public Charge Regulations

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Immigrant eligibility for public benefits vary by state. The new public charge regulations have had a chilling effect on applications for public benefits and entitlement programs. More importantly, the regulations have led to immigrant visa denials at consular posts based on the public charge ground and resulting in I-601A revocations. Panelists will demystify the new public charge regulations and identify areas of concern for your practice.
Agenda and Speakers

  • New Public Charge Regulations: What You Need to Know
  • Comparison of Public Charge Regulations Across the Immigration Agencies
  • How to Evaluate If Your Client May Be a “Public Charge”
  • Findings of Public Charge and I-601A Revocations: Advocacy Strategies and Litigation Issues
  • Ethical Concerns for Practitioners in Preparing the I-864 for the Sponsor and/or Co-Sponsor

Heather Drabek Prendergast (DL), AILA Board of Governors/AILA University Committee Chair, Cleveland, OH
Jason C. Mills, Fort Worth, TX
Fuji Whittenburg, Los Angeles, CA

Special Immigrant Juveniles: Fighting for Their Rights 4:15 pm–5:15 pm ET

Special Immigrant Juveniles: Fighting for Their Rights

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Immigrant youth today face continual challenges, and the process of legalizing their status becomes more difficult by the week. This intermediate panel will examine current events relating to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) procedures in both the affirmative and defensive avenues. Panelists will offer practice tips and litigation updates related to our most vulnerable clients.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Ethical Issues When Representing Children
  • Representing Children in Juvenile Court
  • Affirmative I-360 Filings and RFEs
  • SIJS as a Form of Relief in Immigration Court
  • Updates on SIJS Litigation and Post-18th Birthday Difficulties

Pamela Florian (DL), AILA Arizona Chapter Chair, Phoenix, AZ
Annaluisa Padilla, AILA Past President, La Habra, CA
Kathleen E. Irish, Kansas City, MO

“You’re Not Paranoid, They Really Are Out to Get You!”: Due Diligence on Immigration Cases in the Current Climate 5:45 pm–6:45 pm ET

“You’re Not Paranoid, They Really Are Out to Get You!”: Due Diligence on Immigration Cases in the Current Climate (Ethics)

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When agreeing to represent a new client, prudent attorneys understand the importance of being as thorough as possible in gathering information from that client. In the current climate, there are ample reasons for performing due diligence before and during legal representation beyond ensuring that no conflicts of interest exist. Panelists on this session will explore practical and ethical considerations from the first client meeting to the end of representation in family-based cases.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Who Is the Client?
  • Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, and Privilege; Representing Underage Clients
  • “Know When to Hold ‘Em and Know When to Fold ‘Em”: How to Screen Clients, Identify Red Flags, Avoid Surprises, and When to Walk Away
  • Due Diligence vs. Investigation, Boundary of Zealous Advocacy
  • Duty of Candor to the Tribunal: When Does It Start and When It Does It End?

Michele N. Carney (DL), AILA Ethics Committee Vice Chair, Seattle, WA
Daniel Caudillo, El Paso, TX
Bryon M. Large, Denver, CO
Meghan Moore, AILA Ethics Committee Vice Chair, Wyoming, MI

Other Trainings & Events

Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation 8:30 AM–9:30 AM ET

Q&A: Building Resilience to Stress 1:15 PM–2:15 PM ET

Demo: AILA Malpractice Liability Insurance 2:20 PM–2:35 PM ET

Q&A: PPP Loan Forgiveness 4:15 PM–5:15 PM ET

New Members Division Happy Hour 7:00 PM–8:00 PM ET

AILA Virtual Conference Kick-Off Party 8:00 PM–9:30 PM ET

AILA Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct

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All participants must comply with the following guidelines to participate in the virtual meeting and events:

Participants who do not comply or are in violation of any of AILA’s virtual meeting guidelines may be denied further access and participation at the discretion of event organizers. AILA is not responsible for reimbursement or refund if you are denied access or participation due to violation of AILA’s Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct.

Participants can contact with any questions or concerns related to AILA’s Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct.