AILA Honor Anthony Lewis with First Annual Media Award

November 30, 2000

Matt Tallmer, Public Affairs Manager
202-216-2404;    Fax: 202-371-9449

Immigration Lawyers Honor Anthony Lewis

WASHINGTON, D.C. ¾ New York Times Anthony Lewis will receive the first annual American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Media Award at a ceremony in New York City on December 11. The award is given to a member of the media who, over the past year, has raised both the public’s awareness about pressing immigration issues and the profile of immigration and immigrants as central to our nation’s identity, and has promoted positive changes to our laws.

“There are few people who more rightly deserve this award,” said Margaret A. Catillaz, AILA’s president. “In his writings, Anthony Lewis has been a consistent opponent of the overly harsh 1996 immigration laws. He has brought the issues of retroactivity, indefinite detention, secret evidence and INS raids to the attention of the American people by detailing how these laws have impacted real people. Mr. Lewis has forced Members of Congress, including the very people who sponsored and voted for these overly harsh statutes, to confront the human pain these laws have caused.”

For example, Catillaz noted that Lewis has written extensively about people such as Mary Anne Gehris, the woman threatened with deportation because she pulled someone’s hair more than a decade ago; Hany Kiraldeen and others held in detention because of secret evidence; and Amando Baptiste, an immigrant from Cape Verde who created model anti-gang program copied nationwide, but who is being deported for offenses committed when he was a teenager.

“In addition to putting a human face on the victims of these draconian provisions, Mr. Lewis also has confronted in print the political leaders who introduced, supported and voted for these laws,” Catillaz said. “Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Lewis has done so with a sword encased in a silver pen. That is why we are presenting him with our first annual Media Award.”

The Media Awards ceremony will be held at Noon on Monday, December 11 at the New York Marriot World Trade Center Hotel.  For more information, or if you wish to attend, contact Matt Tallmer, AILA’s public affairs manager (202-216-2404).



Cite as AILA Doc. No. 00120459.