AILA Virtual Annual Conference on Immigration Law

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AC 20V 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.

  • Nonimmigrant Overview Makeup Session

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    summary

    This is a 30-minute Zoom meeting to address the content which was interrupted by technical difficulties in Monday’s Nonimmigrant Overview panel. The original session description is below: 

    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.

    • B-1 and B-2: Visitor. 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 Murphy

    AILA Board of Governors, Austin TX

    Maggie Murphy is the managing principal of the Austin office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is on the AILA Board of Governors. Ms. Murphy is a founding member and past chair of the State Bar of Texas Immigration & Nationality Law Section and is currently serving on the Council. She also serves on the State Bar’s Committee on Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality. Ms. Murphy specializes in complex employment-based immigration cases and has sub-specialties in complicated work visa and permanent residence filings. She focuses a good portion of her practice on helping employers of all sizes with PERM cases and PERM campaigns. She also specializes in immigration-related employer compliance issues, including I-9 audits and investigations, E-Verify compliance training and initiatives, and export-control compliance in the work visa context. 

    Elizabeth Edwards

    Speaker

    Elizabeth R. Edwards is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.  Licensed in North Carolina, she has been certified as an Immigration Specialist by the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization since 2001. She previously served as a chapter liaison with Charlotte USCIS Field Office, chair of the AILA Carolinas Chapter, co-chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar Immigration Section, and chair of the NC Immigration Specialization Committee. She currently practices with Aziz Law Firm in Charlotte, NC.

    Margaret Holland Sparages

    Speaker

    Margaret (“Margy”) Holland-Sparages has 28 years of experience representing clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. consulates abroad, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at land and airports. She represents entrepreneurs, corporations, key managers, and investors in their visa and U.S. work authorization matters. Margy has particular expertise in advocating U.S. national interest waivers for persons making substantial contributions to the United States. She also focuses on O-1 visa petitions for outstanding scientists, researchers, artists and businesspersons. She advises investors and traders who work under bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties (E-1/E-2 visas). She also works with individuals and companies on visa matters impacted by corporate restructuring and reductions in work force. A past chair of the AILA New England Chapter, she served on the chapter executive board from 2014-20.

    Tahmina Watson

    Speaker

    Tahmina Watson practices business immigration law at Watson Immigration Law in Seattle. She is a frequent speaker, author, and blogger, and is regularly quoted and published in various newspapers and magazine. She is the author of the book The Startup Visa: Key to Job Growth & Economic Prosperity in America and host of the podcast Tahmina Talks Immigration. A recipient of the 2019 AILA President’s Commendation, Ms. Watson serves as the chair of the Response Committee for the AILA Washington Chapter, a committee she helped create in November 2016. She also serves on the AILA National Media Advocacy Committee. In 2018, She founded a non-profit, The Washington Immigrant Defense Network (WIDEN), which funds and facilitates legal representation in the immigration courtroom (www.widenlaw.org). She is also co-founder of Airport Lawyers (www.airportlawyer.org) which provided critical service during the early travel bans.

  • Litigation Skills for Non-Litigators, Mini Track: Removal Proceedings for Family-Based Practitioners

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Never give in! Fighting for your client doesn't end with a denial from USCIS, so don’t abandon your family-based case just because your client winds up in removal proceedings. Panelists on this intermediate panel will provide expert guidance and litigation tools to help you fight back.

    Never give in! Fighting for your client doesn't end with a denial from USCIS, so don’t abandon your family-based case just because your client winds up in removal proceedings. Panelists on this intermediate panel will provide expert guidance and litigation tools to help you fight back.

    • Basics of Removal Proceedings Everyone Should Know: NTAs, EOIR-28s, etc. 
    • Knowing Your Court: Common Pet Peeves from Immigration Judges. 
    • Matter of Castro-Tum, Matter of L-A-B-R-, and Matter of Sanchez Sosa: Getting Continuances for USCIS Adjudication of I-130s, I-918s, I-929s, etc. 
    • Challenging I-751 Denials Before an Immigration Judge. 
    • When DHS Won't Agree to Termination to Allow for USCIS Adjudication. 
    • Affirmative and Defensive BIA Appeals: Automatic Stays.

    Daniel Shanfield

    Discussion Leader

    Daniel Shanfield (Berkeley Law, JD; BA, UCLA) has practiced removal defense for over 20 years and is the founder of the Law Offices of Daniel Shanfield Immigration Defense PC (DSID). Mr. Shanfield began his career out of law school in the Attorney General Honors Program with the legacy lNS Office of District Counsel in Los Angeles. Before entering private practice, he was Legal Services Manager with the U.S. Refugee Program in Vienna and served as a migration and refugee advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Central Asia. He also served as staff attorney with the New York Office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, now Human Rights First. He is formerly chair of the AILA Santa Clara Valley Chapter, and was named an AILA Pro Bono Champion for developing AILA’s volunteer legal clinic with the Consulate General of Mexico in San Jose.

    Emily Abraham

    Speaker

    Emily Abraham is a founder and legal director of Social Justice Collaborative, a nonprofit removal defense legal services organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. At SJC, Ms. Abraham supervises all types of complex removal defense cases, especially asylum, as well as appeals before the BIA and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. SJC provides removal defense legal services to about 1500 immigrant families each year, and represents hundreds of individuals in removal proceedings each year, including complex federal litigation that she directs and oversees. Ms. Abraham also coordinates the SJC pro bono program that provides free legal services for several hundred non-citizens each year. 

    Cory Forman

    Speaker

    Cory Forman heads Cohen Forman Barone’s immigration law department, which is responsible for assisting clients in all issues related to the complex world of U.S. immigration law. Mr. Forman has spent his career practicing as a criminal defense and immigration attorney and in 2007 launched the firm’s “Crimmigration” division. The division focuses on all arenas where criminal and immigration law intersect. The division is responsible for litigating deportation issues and filing waivers in immigration court, developing criminal trial and plea-bargaining strategies based on an individual’s immigration concerns, vacating prior convictions through post-conviction relief litigation. A former staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division, Mr. Forman has represented thousands of non-citizens accused of crimes and has since devoted his career to representing non-citizens in both criminal and immigration proceedings.

  • H-1B Cap Season Redux: Looking Back and Moving Forward

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    The quota on H-1B visas is a reality that every employer must face each year, with each cap season coming with its own trials and tribulations. Panelists will discuss what (if anything) was learned from this year’s cap season, identify other options that may be open to employers hoping to employ professional foreign workers, and address late-breaking H-1B issues.

    The quota on H-1B visas is a reality that every employer must face each year, with each cap season coming with its own trials and tribulations. Panelists will discuss what (if anything) was learned from this year’s cap season, identify other options that may be open to employers hoping to employ professional foreign workers, and address late-breaking H-1B issues. 

    • H-1B Pre-Registration, Lessons from FY 20. 
    • Exemptions from the Cap: Is an H-1B Still Possible? 
    • Other NIV Options, or Straight to Permanent Residence. 
    • Cap-Gap Issues: Work, Travel, and Other Complications. 
    • To Premium Process or Not to Premium Process: Strategies, Risks, and Other Annoyances to Consider.

    Amy Erlbacher-Anderson

    Discussion Leader

    Amy Erlbacher-Anderson is a partner in Baird Holm LLP’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Law Practice Group, focusing on employment-based immigration and employment verification compliance. She is included in Great Plains Super Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal’s Corporate Immigration, and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® since 2007 for her work in immigration. Ms. Erlbacher-Anderson is active in AILA and the International Medical Graduate Taskforce, and frequently speaks at both AILA and IMGT events as well as other conferences on the local and national level.

    Kevin Miner

    Speaker

    Kevin Miner is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, and works with employers throughout the U.S. on business immigration processes. He has worked closely with the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees to draft key provisions of immigration legislation. Mr. Miner is a co-author of Business Immigration: Law & Practice (AILA 2nd Ed.), which is a leading treatise on business immigration matters. He is an Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors and serves as a member of the USCIS Policy & Benefits Committee. Mr. Miner speaks regularly around the country on topics relating to high-skilled immigration.

    Vincent Lau

    Speaker

    Vincent W. Lau is the managing partner of Clark Lau LLC in Boston, and he counsels employers and employees on a range of temporary and permanent immigration options. He speaks regularly at immigration conferences across the country, serves fellow immigration attorneys as one of the Vice Chairs of AILA’s DOL Liaison Committee, and developed the curriculum for the business immigration course at New England Law Boston. Mr. Lau received his B.A., cum laude, in Political Science from Yale University, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the Boston College School of Education, and his J.D. from the Boston College School of Law. Mr. Lau has been voted among “The Best Lawyers in America” since 2010, and has been listed with Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Immigration since 2015.

    Vic Goel

    Speaker

    Vic Goel is Managing Partner of Goel & Anderson, LLC. His practice involves strategic guidance and compliance management for multinational corporations with large-scale immigration programs and advising business and trade groups on the intersection of immigration policy, legislation, and trade issues. Vic serves on AILA’s Business Immigration Response Team and previously chaired its Business Immigration, CIS Ombudsman, and USCIS Transformation Liaison Committees. He is a member of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Who’s Who Legal’s Corporate Immigration. He is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law.

  • Updates on PERM, FAQs, and BALCA Decisions

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    This panel is designed for all levels to provide an overview of recent and anticipated changes coming from DOL that might impact the labor certification program and process. Come hear our experts speak on the latest developments affecting your practice.

    This panel is designed for all levels to provide an overview of recent and anticipated changes coming from DOL that might impact the labor certification program and process. Come hear our experts speak on the latest developments affecting your practice.  

    • Updates to PERM-Related Systems. 
    • Trends Gleaned from Recent DOL Audits, Denials, and Liaison. 
    • Review of Recent PERM-Related FAQs. 
    • Trends in Recent BALCA Decisions.

    Bob White

    Discussion Leader

    Bob White is a partner in the Immigration Group of Masuda Funai in its Schaumburg, IL office. He has been practicing exclusively in the employment-based immigration area for more than 27 years. Mr. White was previously chair of the AILA Chicago Chapter. He was also a member of AILA National’s Verification Committee and SSA Taskforce. Bob is currently a member of the AILA National’s DOL Liaison Committee.

    Magaly Cheng

    Speaker

    Magaly Rojas Cheng is a partner at Clark Lau LLC in Boston. She counsels employers and employees on various immigrant and non-immigrant processes. She also assists clients in obtaining permanent residence, with a particular emphasis on PERM labor certification applications. She enjoys working closely with clients to understand their objectives and provide a clear strategy to help accomplish them. As an active member of AILA, she serves as a Law Student Liaison Committee and Distance Learning Committee member. Ms. Cheng earned her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School.

    Catherine Haight

    Speaker

    Catherine L. Haight is the founding member of Haight Law Group, PC in Marina del Rey, CA. She has been practicing immigration law since 1989, specializing in business, entertainment, and sports related cases. Ms. Haight obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. She has authored numerous published articles on such subjects as PERM, H-1B visas, L-1 visas, and the immigration consequences of business mergers and acquisitions. She has been the invited speaker at numerous conferences and seminars on such subjects as sports and entertainment visas, legal ethics, and employer sanctions law. She also has served on many national immigration lawyer committees that liaise closely with government agencies.

    Linda Rose

    Speaker

    Linda Rose is the managing partner of Rose Immigration Law Firm, PLC, in Nashville. Her firm emphasizes PERM labor certification, O&P petitions, international transfers, and university research/teaching. She has practiced business immigration law for more than 30 years and served as a PERM mentor since the inception of PERM. She co-authored the article “Prevailing Wages: How To Do The Right Thing” in AILA’s Guide to PERM Labor Certification. She served numerous terms on the AILA DOL Liaison Committee and held a seat on the AILA Board of Governors for 14 years. She was the 2012 recipient of the AILA Susan Quarles Service Excellence Award. When not practicing law, she plays vibraphone and African xylophone with her jazz band RoseOnVibes Quintet.

  • Primer on Waivers of Inadmissibility

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Clients subject to a ground of inadmissibility may be eligible for a waiver. Panelists in this fundamentals session will provide an overview of immigrant and nonimmigrant waivers, focusing on who qualifies and how to file.

    Clients subject to a ground of inadmissibility may be eligible for a waiver. Panelists in this fundamentals session will provide an overview of immigrant and nonimmigrant waivers, focusing on who qualifies and how to file. 

    • Qualifying for a Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Under INA §212(d)(3); How to Apply, When and Where to File, the Adjudication Process? 
    • The More Complicated Immigrant Visa Waiver; Requisite Qualifying Relative, Documenting Hardship; Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing. 
    • Advance Permission to Reapply for Admission.

    Anthony Drago

    Discussion Leader

    Anthony Drago, Jr. is a sole practitioner with an office in Boston. He is admitted to the bars in MA and NY and has been a member of AILA since 1996. Mr. Drago served as an elected Director on AILA’s Board of Governors from June 2011 through May, 2013 and was chair of the AILA New England Chapter from June 2009 through May 2010. He currently serves on the AILA National EOIR liaison committee and AILA New England Chapter EOIR and OCC liaison committees and is a regular speaker at AILA conferences. 

    Bridgette Bennett

    Speaker

    Bridgette M. Bennett founded the Bennett Law Center in 2011 in Groveland, FL., focusing on removal defense, waivers, and family & humanitarian cases. She received her JD from Barry University in 2011 and her BA in English and Government from Georgetown University in 2000. Bridgette began her career as a Judicial Intern with the Orlando Immigration Court. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the AILA Central Florida Chapter. She formerly served as the Chapter’s Educational Vice Chair, coordinated the 32nd Annual Conference and the first 11th Circuit CLE cruise to the Caribbean. Ms. Bennett has also served as the Chapter’s liaison with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Office of Chief Counsel. She is excited to now serve on AILA National’s Removal Defense Steering Committee. She manages a staff of three Senior Associate Attorneys, 9 Paralegals and 3 Administrative team members; she recently opened a second location in Orlando, FL. 

    Jennifer Doerrie

    Speaker

    Jennifer Doerrie is a solo practitioner in Fresno, CA. She is experienced in all areas of immigration law, although her current practice focuses primarily on family immigration, consular processing, and removal defense. She has served as an AILA NorCal liaison to the USCIS Fresno Field Office from 2017 to the present and volunteered with the CARA Pro Bono Family Detention Project.  A former immigration law professor, Ms. Doerrie regularly presents at trainings and workshops regionally, nationally, and internationally. She also is a mentor for a local non-profit organization and fellow immigration attorneys in her community.   

    David Simmons

    Speaker

    David N. Simmons earned a J.D. from the University of Denver in 1985. He maintains a private immigration practice in Denver. As an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, he taught immigration law in English and Spanish. He is a member the AILA Colorado and AILA Central Florida Chapters. He currently serves the Civil Air Patrol (USAF Auxiliary) as the Rocky Mountain Region Legal Officer and is a National Legal Officer Emeritus. Active in pro-bono and community education efforts, he has worked with the Consulates General of Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru in Denver. He appears regularly on English and Spanish media, regularly publishes articles on Immigration Law, and has given lectures in English and Spanish before professional associations, governmental agencies, and universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala.

  • Anatomy of a Removal Proceeding 101

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Representing clients in removal proceedings starts before you set foot in the courtroom. Panelists on Part I of this two-part fundamentals session will provide you with the basics you need to be an effective and prepared litigator in removal court.

    Representing clients in removal proceedings starts before you set foot in the courtroom. Panelists on Part I of this two-part fundamentals session will provide you with the basics you need to be an effective and prepared litigator in removal court. 

    • Commencement of Proceedings: Breaking Down the Notice to Appear. 
    • Distinctions Between Being Charged with Deportability Versus Inadmissibility. 
    • Who Bears the Burden of Proof? 
    • Available Forms of Relief.

    Lindsey Gauzza

    Discussion Leader

    Lindsey Gauzza is a partner at the Office of Cheryl David in New York City, where she specializes in removal defense, immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and family-based immigration. Before joining the Law Office of Cheryl David, Ms. Gauzza clerked for two years at the New York Immigration Court through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. She graduated from Temple University School of Law in 2009, and earned her BA in History from Oberlin College in 2004. Ms. Gauzza currently serves as the co-chair for the District Director Liaison Committee of the NY AILA Chapter. She is licensed to practice in New York.

    Rossana Rolon Grau

    Speaker

    Rossana Rolón Grau is a solo practitioner in Falls Church, VA. Before private practice, she served in various capacities at the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, including a two-year detail as a Special Assistant United States Attorney at the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas. Her practice is focused on family-based immigration and removal defense. She received her J.D. from Baylor University School of Law (2003).

    Elham Sadri

    Speaker

    Elham Sadri has represented clients in complex removal and family-based immigration cases. She currently serves as a secretory on the AILA Santa Clara Valley, a co-coordinator of the AILA NorCal Chapter, and a committee member of the Iranian American Bar Association of NorCal. Where she has long been active. She is a publisher of a book about the American legal education system in Farsi.

    John Sesini

    Speaker

    John Sesini is the Managing Partner and Head of the Family/Deportation Practice Group at Sesini Law Group. Prior to focusing exclusively on immigration law.  He practiced criminal law for many years, which experience makes him uniquely qualified to represent non- citizens with criminal convictions. He works frequently with criminal defense attorneys in criminal cases throughout Wisconsin and has successfully vacated dozens and dozens of criminal convictions for his clients.

  • Anatomy of a Removal Proceeding 102

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Preparing for court is only half the battle; you still have to litigate the case. Panelists in Part II of this two-part fundamentals session will focus on the more procedural side of representing clients in removal proceedings.

    Preparing for court is only half the battle; you still have to litigate the case. Panelists in Part II of this two-part fundamentals session will focus on the more procedural side of representing clients in removal proceedings. 

    • Master Calendar Hearings, Pleading to or Challenging the Notice to Appear. 
    • Filings with the Immigration Court: Motions, Applications, and Evidence. 
    • Monitoring Legal Developments and Changes to Client's Circumstances Before the Individual Hearing. 
    • The Importance of a Pre-Hearing Brief and a Trial Notebook. 
    • Procedure of the Individual Hearings: What Happens? 
    • How Do You Prepare? Handling Post-Order Issues.

    Rebecca Kitson

    Discussion Leader

    Rebecca Kitson runs her practice in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, practicing humanitarian relief, employment-based and family-based immigration, and removal defense. For over a decade, she has taught immigration law courses as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Ms Kitson is the vice chair of the AILA TX-NM-OK Chapter, frequently serves as an AILA presenter, and has contributed to AILA’s Consular Processing Guide. She has served as the New Mexico’s AILA-USCIS liaison.

    Teddy Chadwick

    Speaker

    Teddy Chadwick is a partner at Chadwick & Crouse, LLC. He represents families with their immigration petitions, and individuals with humanitarian claims. He also represents individuals in removal proceedings and advises on complex criminal and immigration matters. He is a member of the California and Wisconsin Bar. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of California in 2009 and a Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Political Science from the University of Southern California in 2005. Mr. Chadwick is an active member of AILA, where he serves as the vice-chair of the AILA University Committee, the chair of the AILA New Members Division, and the vice-chair of the AILA Wisconsin Chapter.

    John Marandas

    Speaker

    John J. Marandas received his B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1994 and his J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 1997. Mr. Marandas is a co-founder of Marandas Sinlapasai Garcia, LLC in Lake Oswego, OR. He represents immigrants in the areas of family-based immigration, naturalization, removal defense and appeals. Mr. Marandas also assists clients with immigration/family law cross-over issues including divorce, annulment, restraining orders, custody, parenting time, and support matters. Mr. Marandas currently serves on the Oregon State Bar’s Unlawful Practice of Law (UPL) Committee, and serves as the UPL liaison to the local AILA chapter. He is a past chair of the AILA Oregon, and is a past liaison to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Oregon.

  • Detention 101

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Representing detained clients can be one of the more difficult and demanding immigration practice areas. Panelists on this fundamentals session will discuss various issues related to detention practice, including client access, bond hearings, and mandatory detention.

    Representing detained clients can be one of the more difficult and demanding immigration practice areas. Panelists on this fundamentals session will discuss various issues related to detention practice, including client access, bond hearings, and mandatory detention. 

    • How to Find a Client in Detention. 
    • Difficulty with Access to and Contact with Clients. 
    • What Happens When the Client Is Moved? 
    • Release, Parole, and Bond by ICE. 
    • Bond Requests and Hearings.

    John Pratt (Moderator)

    Discussion Leader

    John Patrick Pratt is a Partner at Kurzban, Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A., in Coral Gables, Florida. Mr. Pratt received his Bachelors of Arts degree from Florida State University with honors in 1994. He graduated from Tulane University School of Law, receiving his juris doctor degree in 1997. Mr. Pratt is admitted to the bar of the State of Florida, District of Columbia, State of New York, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, United States District Court of the District of Columbia, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Bar Association (ABA). Mr. Pratt served in the Board of Governors (BOG) of AILA from 2017-2020. He served in the Board of Directors of AILA, South Florida Chapter, from 2003-2016. Additionally, Mr. Pratt served as President of AILA, South Florida Chapter 2010-2011. Mr. Pratt is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is Florida Bar Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law 2005-2020, and he served in the Florida Bar's Immigration and Nationality Law Certification Committee 2006-2009. Mr. Pratt concentrates in all areas of immigration and nationality law, including corporate immigration matters, employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, family-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, deportation or removal, and federal court litigation, including complex EB-5 related federal court litigation. Mr. Pratt is fluent in Spanish.

    Aaron Hall

    Speaker

    Aaron Hall is a partner at Joseph & Hall in Aurora, CO. His practice focuses on removal defense, family-based immigration, and advising on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. He is an active member of AILA and currently serves on the AILA Amicus and ICE Liaison committees.

    Homero López

    Speaker

    Homero López, Jr. is the executive director and managing attorney at Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy (ISLA), a non-profit that focuses on providing pro bono direct representation to detained indigent immigrants in Louisiana under a universal representation model.  Homero was previously the managing attorney at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans where he oversaw a team of approximate 30 attorneys, accredited representatives, and paralegals focusing primarily on representing unaccompanied children in Louisiana.  Prior to that, he served as a staff, and then senior attorney at Catholic Charities-Diocese of Baton Rouge where he participated in the Legal Orientation Program and focused on representation for detained individuals. Homero is a frequent speaker on immigration issues and serves as a mentor for attorneys accepting immigration cases pro bono.  Homero received his J.D. in 2010 from Tulane University Law School where he also currently serves as an adjunct professor teaching a course on immigration detention and defense.    

    Benjamin Simpson

    Speaker

    Benjamin Simpson is a senior associate with Cohen Forman Barone, LLP, with offices in Midtown Manhattan and Patchogue, New York. His practice focuses on removal defense of both detained and non-detained non-citizens in immigration court, as well as affirmative, generally humanitarian and family-based, benefits processing. Mr. Simpson is also a busy criminal defense practitioner who focuses on post-conviction relief and defending non-citizens facing active criminal charges in New York State Courts. As a “crimmigration” specialist, he also advises both immigration attorneys and criminal defense attorneys on the vital intersections between these two areas of law. A Brooklyn denizen for well over a decade, Mr. Simpson earned his JD from Brooklyn Law School in 2011, and has been an active AILA and NY Chapter member since 2013. He has lectured before the criminal defense bar of Suffolk County, NY on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

  • Litigation Skills for Non-Litigators, Mini Track: Federal Court Litigation for Family-Based Practitioners

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    As a family-based practitioner, you don't always think about litigating. Given the current enforcement-minded climate and lengthier delays, however, it's time to seriously consider taking the government to court! Zealous advocacy requires knowledge of this process and the options available to your clients. Our panel of experts will provide an overview of the building blocks to successful litigation for experienced family practitioners.

    As a family-based practitioner, you don't always think about litigating. Given the current enforcement-minded climate and lengthier delays, however, it's time to seriously consider taking the government to court! Zealous advocacy requires knowledge of this process and the options available to your clients. Our panel of experts will provide an overview of the building blocks to successful litigation for experienced family practitioners.

    • Best Practices for Serving Clients Given the Crisis-Level Processing Delays and Backlog: Mandamus Litigation. 
    • Habeas Petitions on Behalf of Detained Clients. 
    • 8 USC §1421(c) Review of Naturalization (and N-336) Denials. 
    • "They Can't Do That!": APA Violations Regarding I-130s, I-751s, N-400s, etc. 
    • Where to Turn to for Help: Overview of Available Resources.

    Michael Gahagan (Moderator)

    Discussion Leader

    Michael W. Gahagan is the owner of Gahagan Law Firm, L.L.C.—The Immigration Law Firm of New Orleans. Mr. Gahagan practices Immigration Law and FOIA law exclusively in federal courts and immigration courts nationwide. Mr. Gahagan has been a member of AILA since 2008 and the AILA Federal Litigation Section since 2013. Mr. Gahagan has been the AILA MidSouth Chapter Federal Court Litigation Chairman since 2013, and the AILA MidSouth Chapter Federal Litigation Liaison since 2019. Mr. Gahagan has also been an AILA National Committee Member on the Distance Learning Committee and he is currently an AILA FOIA Strategy Committee Member. In addition to holding positions within AILA, Mr. Gahagan is consistently invited to be an expert speaker at State Bar conventions and AILA conventions worldwide on the topics of immigration law, federal immigration litigation, FOIA, FOIA litigation, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Mr. Gahagan can be contacted at (504) 766-9137.

    Tamara Jezic

    Speaker

    Tamara L. Jezic is an immigration attorney with Jezic & Moyse, LLC at the firm’s offices in Stafford and Fairfax, Virginia. She represents noncitizens in removal proceedings in Immigration Court and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. She represents noncitizens in civil cases in the United States district courts and handles petitions for review in circuit courts of appeals. Tamara represented the petitioners in Hernandez Avalos v. Lynch, 784 F.3d 944 (4th Cir. 2015); Zavaleta-Policiano v. Sessions, 873 F.3d 241 (4th Cir. 2017); Jaghoori v. Holder, 772 F.3d 764 (4th Cir. 2014). Tamara is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.

    Maris Liss

    Speaker

    Maris J. Liss heads the appellate and federal litigation practice at George P. Mann and Associates, a boutique immigration firm in Farmington Hills, MI. She litigates at the BIA, Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal (mostly the Sixth Circuit) and in federal district court. Ms. Liss is a co-editor of AILA’s Immigration Litigation Toolbox (6th Ed.), published in 2018. The Immigration Litigation Toolbox teaches administrative, federal district court and circuit court litigation. Ms. Liss is also co-editor of the AILA Immigration Practice Toolbox (3rd Ed). She also is a contributor to AILA’s Immigration Forms Toolbox, 3rd Edition and to the new The Waivers Book (AILA, 3rd Ed.). Ms. Liss has served terms on the AILA National Amicus Committee, National Litigation Steering Committee, National Publications Committee and Online Resources Taskforce. She is on the faculty of Lawline Online CLE, and is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Barnard College.

    Mark Stevens

    Speaker

    Mark Stevens is a Senior Attorney at Murray Osorio PLLC in Fairfax, VA. He focuses on litigation in federal district courts, appeals to the BIA and circuit courts, and employment-based immigration. He is the chair of the Litigation Committee of the AILA Washington, DC Chapter. He has been named a “Rising Star” in immigration law by Super Lawyers Magazine since 2017.

  • Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and the Employment Lifecycle

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    COVID-19 has exacted deleterious effects on virtually every facet of the American economy (save, possibly, for the alcoholic beverage industry). The U.S. immigration system, including employers who help sustain our economy by hiring immigrants, has been hit particularly hard, suffering not only from the blows inflicted by COVID-19, but also from attacks by the current administration, which seeks to exploit the pandemic to further its anti-immigration agenda. Speakers in this session will address the impact of COVID-19 on immigration through the employment lifecycle generally, and discuss in detail the novel issues employers of immigrants now face: delayed start dates for individuals on OPT, changes in work conditions, issues caused by remote employment, furloughs and terminations, etc. Speakers also will review the latest information on consular and USCIS appointments, administrative policy changes, and executive orders.

    COVID-19 has exacted deleterious effects on virtually every facet of the American economy (save, possibly, for the alcoholic beverage industry). The U.S. immigration system, including employers who help sustain our economy by hiring immigrants, has been hit particularly hard, suffering not only from the blows inflicted by COVID-19, but also from attacks by the current administration, which seeks to exploit the pandemic to further its anti-immigration agenda.  Speakers in this session will address the impact of COVID-19 on immigration through the employment lifecycle generally, and discuss in detail the novel issues employers of immigrants now face: delayed start dates for individuals on OPT, changes in work conditions, issues caused by remote employment, furloughs and terminations, etc. Speakers also will review the latest information on consular and USCIS appointments, administrative policy changes, and executive orders. 

    • Cap subject H-1B issues: OPT Unemployment, Delayed Start Dates, Consular Processing Issues, Rescinded Job Offers. 
    • Changes in Work Conditions: Impact on NIV and IV Applications. 
    • Furloughs, Terminations, Grace Periods, and Unemployment Insurance. 
    • Employment Verification Issues. 
    • Latest Updates: Executive Orders, Policy Changes, Agency Operations.

    Amy Peck

    Discussion Leader

    Amy L. Peck is a principal in the Omaha, NE, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is co-leader of the firm’s Immigration Practice Group. Ms. Peck previously served as one of 21 Directors elected to the AILA Board of Governors. She also previously served on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council. Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National Verification Committee, which liaises with USCIS, ICE and OCAHO on I-9, E-Verify and related worksite issues. Ms. Peck is a frequent speaker on worksite enforcement issues and has recently been quoted in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on employment and enforcement immigration issues.

    Lori Chesser

    Speaker

    Lori Torgerson Chesser is a senor shareholder and chair of the Davis Brown Law Firm Immigration Department. She is a member of IMMLAW and is one of the founders of the Iowa/Nebraska AILA Chapter. She is past chair of the American Immigration Council Board of Trustees and has served on numerous AILA committees, including her current assignment on the Worksite Verification Committee. She is a frequent speaker and writer on business immigration topics. 

    David Grunblatt

    Speaker

    David Grunblatt a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, heading its Immigration Practice Group is an authority on employer immigration compliance and employment-based immigration benefits. He served as chair of the AILA New York Chapter and of the AILA Vermont Service Center Liaison Committee. He was formerly chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law and was chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law at the New York County Lawyers Association. He lectures and writes extensively on the subject of immigration and nationality law.

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