For pre-2017 AILA Leadership Blog posts, please visit the AILA Leadership Blog website.

AILA Leadership Blog

Think Immigration: New World Requires New Strategies

AILA member and AC 2017 Conference Chair Olsi Vrapi urges AILA members to zealously represent their clients writing that “requiring the government to meet its burden should be the rule, not the exception” in immigration court.
AILA Doc. No. 17062333

Think Immigration: Guardians of Our Constitution

AILA President Annaluisa Padilla shares insights and plans for the coming year in this adaptation of her installation speech given this morning at the 2017 AILA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.
AILA Doc. No. 17062231

Think Immigration: New Name, New Look, New Content – This Blog’s for You!

AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson welcomes readers to the new Think Immigration blog where AILA members share insights on immigration issues, from big, broad ideas down to specific cases.
AILA Doc. No. 17061991

AILA Leadership Blog: Dollars and Sense

AILA AZ Chapter Chair Ruben Luis Reyes shares some of his concerns about the potential impact of SB 4 in Texas and why he thinks the decision by the AILA Board of Governors to move the 2018 Annual Conference made sense.
AILA Doc. No. 17061332

AILA Leadership Blog: Walking the Talk – Why AILA Moved the 2018 AC Out of Texas

AILA First Vice President Anastasia Tonello highlights the discussion surrounding and the reasoning behind the decision by the AILA Board of Governors to move the Annual Conference in 2018 out of Texas.
AILA Doc. No. 17060833

AILA Leadership Blog: Take Action to Combat the Crisis in Post-Release Representation

AILA Pro Bono Committee Member Sheila Starkey Hahn highlights how and why the Mid-South chapter is training and mentoring non-immigration attorneys for asylum cases, noting that with technology, “being a mentor is no longer dependent on location, but on commitment and passion.”
AILA Doc. No. 17060535

AILA Leadership Blog: Dangerous Exceptions?

AILA Past President Victor Nieblas urges action against two bills which aim to exempt certain CBP applicants from the polygraph test requirement, writing, “Making it easier for people with criminal backgrounds or who are likely commit crimes or other abusive behavior to join CBP makes no sense.”
AILA Doc. No. 17060130

AILA Leadership Blog: Access to Counsel Should be Non-Negotiable

Brent Renison, who headed AILA’s Access to Counsel Task Force offers insights into the development of the petition for rulemaking AILA and the Council filed on March 25, 2017, and what it hopes to achieve, highlighting two powerful examples of why access to counsel is so important.
AILA Doc. No. 17052602

AILA Leadership Blog: Fair Treatment Under the Law

AILA member Tom Ruge shares details from the recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling protecting the rights of injured unauthorized immigrants to seek recovery of lost wages and decreased earning capacity and importantly, making their undocumented status inadmissible at trial in most cases.
AILA Doc. No. 17052432

AILA Leadership Blog: MAVNI: A Successful Program Currently SNAFUed

Bob Lenard, Vice Chair of the AILA Military Assistance Program (MAP) Committee describes how the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program has stalled and urges AILA members to volunteer to help military service members and their families in immigration proceedings.
AILA Doc. No. 17051904

AILA Leadership Blog: Five Questions and Answers about the EB-5 Program

In this blog post, AILA First Vice President Anastasia Tonello answers five questions about the EB-5 visa program, explaining how the program works and what it is designed to do.
AILA Doc. No. 17051831

AILA Leadership Blog: Despite the Odds

In early 2016, the Obama administration swept up Central American families in a series of raids, trying to deport them without due process. In this blog post, AILA Asylum and Refugee Committee member Amalia Wille shares how she helped one family gain asylum despite the odds stacked against them.
AILA Doc. No. 17051701

AILA Leadership Blog: The Courage of Mothers in Family Detention

In honor of Mother’s Day, several volunteers who helped mothers in family detention describe the mother whose story stayed with them most powerfully. We encourage volunteers to share their own stories on the CARA Facebook page; more details are available at the end of the blog post.
AILA Doc. No. 17051239

AILA Leadership Blog: Standing Up for One Family and Making a Difference

AILA Asylum and Refugee committee member Lindsay Harris co-authored this blog post with law student Elisa Hawkins, sharing how together they helped prepare a mother and her little boy for a credible fear interview and urge readers to find ways to help as well.
AILA Doc. No. 17051031

AILA Leadership Blog: It’s Time to Tackle the 3/10 Year Bar!

Tahmina Watson, co-chair, AILA WA Chapter Response Committee, notes that while comprehensive immigration reform would be ideal, ending the 3- and 10-year bar would give immigrants “a chance to return, to rebuild their lives, to care for their children, and contribute to our communities and country.”
AILA Doc. No. 17050100

AILA Leadership Blog: Say It with Me: It Is Not Illegal to Seek Asylum

Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President-Elect, takes the opportunity to explain the asylum process in an effort to clear up the apparent confusion, common among the press and public, that asylum seekers are somehow “illegal.”
AILA Doc. No. 17042160

AILA Leadership Blog: Our Immigration Laws Are Bad for Small Businesses

Susan Bond, member of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee, describes the current H-1B visa program and says it “needs to be updated to keep up with the needs of U.S.-based companies, for the benefit of our economy and to ensure the U.S. remains competitive.”
AILA Doc. No. 17042034

AILA Leadership Blog: ICE Enforcement in Courthouses is a Dangerous Mistake

What impact will ramped up ICE enforcement efforts at courthouses have? In this blog post, AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Evangeline Chan covers why such actions are a dangerous mistake and weaken the safety of us all.
AILA Doc. No. 17041404

AILA Leadership Blog: Our Battles Are Only Beginning

In this blog post, AILA Media Advocacy Committee Member Katie Sarreshteh responds to an effort by a restrictionist group “to keep undocumented children out of public schools and to charge undocumented parents of United States citizen children ‘non-resident’ tuition.”
AILA Doc. No. 17041231

AILA Leadership Blog: Kids These Days

Anastasia Tonello, AILA First Vice President, highlights the newly-reintroduced Fair Day in Court for Kids Act and the importance of ensuring counsel for the most vulnerable: children, those with disabilities, and victims of abuse, torture or violence.
AILA Doc. No. 17041100

AILA Leadership Blog: Block the Money, Block the Wall

AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Matt Maiona explains how AILA members and the public can get involved and tell every “congressional office…why giving money to fund policies like border walls and deportation forces are bad for our country.”
AILA Doc. No. 17032406

AILA Leadership Blog: Staining America’s Image

AILA Media Advocacy Committee Chair Mo Goldman writes about the impact that anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies are having, making immigrants and refugees feel unwelcome in America.
AILA Doc. No. 17031637

AILA Leadership Blog: Why You Need To Be in D.C. Next Month

Rob Cohen, chair of AILA’s 2017 Spring Conference, highlights the importance of AILA members being in D.C. for National Day of Action and the Spring Conference, to both hear from agency leaders about new and updated policies and to share their expertise and insight with congressional offices.
AILA Doc. No. 17031534

AILA Leadership Blog: Reactions to the President’s Joint Address to Congress

Several members of AILA’s Executive Committee share their reactions to President Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants and America’s immigration laws during the president’s Joint Address to Congress.
AILA Doc. No. 17030130

AILA Leadership Blog: Is ICE Making Us Safer or Less Secure?

Mo Goldman, Chair of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee, describes the results of ICE’s recent enforcement actions and urges readers to reach out to “legislators and tell them that the Executive Order isn’t doing what it is intended to do.”
AILA Doc. No. 17021636

AILA Leadership Blog: Standing Firm Against Discrimination

In this blog post, Matt Maiona, a member of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee, reflects on the first days after the Muslim and refugee bans went into effect and the outpouring of information and support from AILA, its members, other advocates, and the public in the face of the discriminatory order.
AILA Doc. No. 17020103

AILA Leadership Blog: Running a Marathon Every Day

AILA member and recent Dilley volunteer Samantha Lloyd offers insights into the vital work she and other volunteers do, in partnership with on-the-ground staff at Dilley, to ensure that mothers and children have access to counsel as they seek asylum and refuge in the United States.

AILA Leadership Blog: Change in Policy for Cuban Immigrants

Tammy Lin, a member of the AILA Media Advocacy Committee, shares a quick rundown of the change to Cuban immigration policy announced last week by the Obama administration and what she has been telling anxious clients worried about their cases.
AILA Doc. No. 17011806

AILA Leadership Blog: Why All the Worry Over Senator Sessions as Attorney General?

AILA member Elliott Ozment offers insights into what the Attorney General’s powers are related to immigration and urges AILA members and their networks to take action and share their concerns with senators as the confirmation process is underway.
AILA Doc. No. 17011310