Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11061374 (posted Jun. 13, 2011)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, June 13, 2011
George Tzamaras / Amanda Walkins
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7618
SAN DIEGO, CA - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will award Anthony Weigel, the principal of Weigel Law Office, LLC, located in the Kansas City, Missouri area, the 2011 Advocacy Award for his outstanding efforts in support of AILA's legislative agenda. Mr. Weigel will receive the award on June 16, 2011, during AILA's Annual Conference to be held in San Diego, CA.
Mr. Weigel is honored for his efforts to oppose and defeat anti-immigrant proposals in the Missouri and Kansas legislatures and to re-direct the debate to the national level. Arizona's Senate Bill 1070 dominated last summer's headlines and spurred copycat bills in Missouri and Kansas; Mr. Weigel and his colleagues knew they had their work cut out for them. As Chair of the Missouri/Kansas AILA Chapter, Mr. Weigel worked with members and leaders of AILA, as well as immigrant, civil rights, labor, business and religious groups to project a positive vision of immigration policy.
Mr. Weigel's efforts in coordinating a unified counter-argument to the state immigration law measures resulted in several local media interviews, a formal press conference, and were capped off with an on-site protest of about 400 people, including ad hoc help from NAACP youth. At the end of the day, positive immigration policy messages dominated the local media instead of the antagonistic ideas promoted by the anti-immigrant legislation.
State-level advocacy efforts continued throughout the legislative sessions in Missouri and Kansas. In Missouri, Mr. Weigel actively worked with the formal coalition of AILA's Missouri/Kansas Chapter to monitor legislation, offer research and written and oral testimony, and participate in the group's Lobby Day. In Kansas, he worked closely with business coalitions to provide research and policy guidance, and coordinated efforts with non-business coalition partners. After repeated efforts, Kansas' attempt to advance SB 1070-like legislation never made it out of its originating committee.
Mr. Weigel also serves on AILA's Media Advocacy Committee and as a contributor to the AILA Ledership Blog. He is the principal of Weigel Law Office, LLC and advises employers and individuals on immigration law. He holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Bachelor's degree in Economics, both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of 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.