For pre-2017 blog posts, please visit the Think Immigration website.

Blog: Think Immigration

Think Immigration: Risk vs. Uncertainty - Advising and Advocating in the New Paradigm

9/19/2017
AILA CSC Liaison Committee member Diana Bauerle shares some insights into risk and uncertainty and how “Taking on uncertainty means we need to be nimble and creative in our advice. It also means innovating and finding solutions that we have either never considered, or rarely had to use.”
AILA Doc. No. 17091961

Think Immigration: The New Front in the War on Immigrants – Administrative Action

9/15/2017
AILA Second Vice President Jennifer Minear writes about administrative overreach noting that “The last time I checked, federal agencies don’t get to make new law; they are tasked with implementing existing law.”
AILA Doc. No. 17091530

Think Immigration: Deal or No Deal: Where Does DACA Stand?

9/14/2017
AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson responds to the conflicting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) “deal” reports, writing that a “standalone bill focused exclusively on protecting Dreamers is the best solution.”
AILA Doc. No. 17091437

Think Immigration: Facing the Pro Bono Challenge Head On – One Perspective

9/12/2017
AILA member Allegra Love shares insights into how planning, and thinking outside the box, can maximize the impact of pro bono efforts in your community, highlighting four important questions to consider in any pro bono planning process.
AILA Doc. No. 17091236

Think Immigration: Hurricane Harvey Hit Us Hard but We’re Rebuilding and Helping Each Other

9/8/2017
Jason Mills, Immediate Past Chair of the AILA Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico Chapter, shares some of the disaster recovery efforts that local members are engaged in post-Harvey and some resources available to help AILA members rebuild.
AILA Doc. No. 17090831

Think Immigration: Back to School – The Immigrant Experience

9/6/2017
AILA member Elissa Taub highlights recent ICE actions in Memphis that stoked the fears of immigrant families and how the community responded, showing that “so many people in Memphis are ready and willing to act when the need arises to ensure that our most vulnerable residents feel protected.”
AILA Doc. No. 17090662

Think Immigration: Mr. Speaker, It’s Time to Stand Up for Dreamers

9/5/2017
Ken Schmitt, Advocacy and Media Liaison for the MO-KS Chapter, urges Congress and the American public to stand up and protect Dreamers, writing, “These young people, brought to the United States as children, are true Americans and have proven their value and worth to any who questioned it.”
AILA Doc. No. 17090560

Think Immigration: Wasting Money, One Interview at a Time

8/31/2017
Anastasia Tonello, AILA President-Elect, highlights the wasteful new USCIS requirement that all employment-based adjustment of status applicants be subject to an in-person interview, noting “Officers will be charged with interviewing thousands of law abiding, qualified people who are already here.”
AILA Doc. No. 17083133

Think Immigration: Winning Cases – Good for the Client and the Attorney

8/29/2017
Jesse Lloyd, Vice Chair of AILA’s ICE Liaison Committee takes a look at the current state of agency-attorney relations, urging AILA members to take opportunities to share information because “This fight is bigger than one client and one attorney. We can’t do this alone, but we can do this together.”
AILA Doc. No. 17082902

Think Immigration: Trump Administration Endangers Children While Pretending to Fight Trafficking

8/25/2017
AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen explains how ICE is jeopardizing the safety of unaccompanied children by going after their sponsors “who have given their names and addresses to the federal government and gone through assessments to ensure they will provide a safe home.”
AILA Doc. No. 17082531

Think Immigration: Business Immigration and Federal Litigation – Where to Start?

8/23/2017
Olivia Lee, Immediate Past Chair of AILA’s Northern California Chapter, reflects on when she first stepped into the federal litigation arena for an H-1B client and highlights the resources offered by AILA and the American Immigration Council to help practitioners develop those skills.
AILA Doc. No. 17082331

Think Immigration: Protesting and Immigration – Know Your Rights

8/22/2017
AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Katie Sarreshteh offers insights that may be useful as AILA members and clients consider whether to attend planned protests in Arizona and elsewhere, including links to publicly available Know Your Rights resources shareable with the community.
AILA Doc. No. 17082236

Think Immigration: How Does U.S. Immigration Law Treat Trafficking Victims?

8/18/2017
Given the recent tragedy in Texas involving the deaths of ten individuals, and injury of many more, who were being transported into the United States, AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Evangeline Chan offers insights into how U.S. immigration law treats victims of trafficking.
AILA Doc. No. 17081865

Think Immigration: Dream On

8/15/2017
AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Katie Sarreshteh reflects on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and urges those who support Dreamers to speak out and advocate for DACA to stay in place until a permanent solution for these young immigrants is enacted.
AILA Doc. No. 17081500

Think Immigration: H-1B Visa Trends: Is This the New Normal?

8/14/2017
AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Sandra Feist highlights a new trend in H-1B petitions which has her concerned that USCIS is “enacting changes that will have widespread economic repercussions” and may deter “U.S. employers who seek to hire the best and the brightest international talent.”
AILA Doc. No. 17081433

Think Immigration: Time to Reboot the DHS SAVE System

8/10/2017
AILA Director of Government Relations Betsy Lawrence highlights a recent GAO report and recommendations on the DHS SAVE system, writing that the system is “one that AILA members already know is causing unnecessary headaches for immigrants and their families across the nation.”
AILA Doc. No. 17081032

Think Immigration: The American Economy Needs Changes to the H-2B Temporary Worker Program

8/8/2017
Loan Huynh, a member of AILA’s DOL Liaison Committee, highlights how the H-2B visa program is currently failing to meet the needs of many American businesses seeking temporary seasonal workers and the reforms necessary to ensure the program helps contribute to our shared prosperity.
AILA Doc. No. 17080831

Think Immigration: Immigration Lawyers Save Lives

8/4/2017
AILA NorCal Chapter Chair Tala Hartsough shares how immigration lawyers can save lives, saying the “reality is that the more of us who stand up and take on the representation of low income, detained immigrants, the more likely it will be that we save a life.”
AILA Doc. No. 17080408

Think Immigration: Congressional Recess is No Time to Rest

8/1/2017
AILA Past President John L. Pinnix encourages members to use the August congressional recess to advocate for immigration with members of Congress and to build relationships with congressional constituent service staff.
AILA Doc. No. 17080343

Think Immigration: U.S. Immigration Law is Simultaneously Inscrutable, Strict, and Arbitrary

7/31/2017
AILA President-Elect Anastasia Tonello discusses how the United States’ outdated immigration laws have an impact around the world and urges everyone to “share our experiences and expertise and expose the system,” to move toward immigration reform.
AILA Doc. No. 17073104

Think Immigration: Let’s Make America Great Again For International Students

7/26/2017
AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Susan Bond highlights the anti-immigrant rhetoric that is impacting international students, writing “Whether we are driving these innovators and job creators away by making them feel unwelcome, or driving them away by making them feel unsafe, this needs to stop.”
AILA Doc. No. 17072697

Think Immigration: Divergent Approaches: Immigration Law and Policy in the U.S. and Canada

7/25/2017
Heather Segal, a member of AILA’s BOG, highlights differences between U.S. and Canadian immigration law and urges the U.S. to both “encourage individuals to bring their skills and talents” while continuing its commitment to family reunification which has long-benefited America’s shared prosperity.
AILA Doc. No. 17072501

Think Immigration: A Righteous Act

7/21/2017
Mo Goldman, member of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee, urges readers to take action in support of the Dream Act, writing “It makes zero sense, on an economic or moral level, to suddenly strip hundreds of thousands of individuals of their work permits and make them targets for deportation.”
AILA Doc. No. 17072102

Think Immigration: There’s Always More to Learn

7/19/2017
AILA Second Vice President Jennifer Minear reflects on how there is always more to learn in immigration law, writing “with more than a decade of experience as an immigration attorney behind me, the universe of what I do not know remains infinitely more vast than the universe of what I do.”
AILA Doc. No. 17071904

Think Immigration: An Obscure Trump Administration Policy that Needlessly Harms Americans

7/18/2017
Patrick Taurel, a member of AILA’s ICE Liaison Committee, draws attention to the impact on American families stemming from new instructions given to Trump administration immigration court prosecutors to “oppose all, or nearly all, requests to close cases for stateside waiver purposes.”
AILA Doc. No. 17071804

Think Immigration: One Road to Immigration Law

7/14/2017
AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney shares his journey into immigration law and the AILA community, writing, “You’ve undoubtedly heard it before and you will certainly hear it again: Immigration law is complicated. But AILA has the resources and tools you need to set you and your clients up for success.”
AILA Doc. No. 17071405

Think Immigration: Hypocrisy Unbridled: The Dismantling of the International Entrepreneur Rule

7/12/2017
Betsy Lawrence, AILA Director of Government Relations explains how the dismantling of the International Entrepreneur Rule will harm American competitiveness; she urges the administration to work with Congress to create a start-up visa that would attract innovative job creators to the U.S.
AILA Doc. No. 17071232

Think Immigration: Finding Equilibrium in an Unsteady World

7/11/2017
In this blog post, Sandra Feist, AILA Media Advocacy Committee member, writes about her recent outreach to local police in her area which has resulted in a productive dialogue with the police chief about immigration policies; she urges other AILA members to try similar outreach strategies.
AILA Doc. No. 17071162

Think Immigration: "Wait Your Turn and Come Lawfully" (in 30 Years)

7/7/2017
Alma Rosa Nieto, Vice Chair of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee, describes the current process to procure lawful permanent resident status (a green card), writing that it is in “severe need of revamping to fit the needs of both the country and those who seek to lawfully immigrate to the U.S.”
AILA Doc. No. 17070731

Think Immigration: The Top Eleven Terrible Things in President Trump’s Budget

7/6/2017
AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen details immigration-related items in President Trump’s budget and urges readers to tell Congress to “reject the increases that will hurt American families and businesses, and instead protect funding for programs that increase our shared prosperity.”
AILA Doc. No. 17070617

Think Immigration: Not Winning Hearts or Minds

7/3/2017
AILA BOG member Neena Dutta highlights the recent story about the State Department’s denial of visas for a girls robotics team from Afghanistan and underscores the reasons why denying them visas was a missed opportunity.
AILA Doc. No. 17070530

Think Immigration: Will Government Employees Show Some Moxie in the Immigration Struggle?

6/30/2017
AILA member Anthony Drago, Jr. wonders whether government officials will find ways to stand up to the anti-immigrant policies espoused by the Trump administration, writing that he hopes decent government employees will join AILA and other stakeholders in the fight.
AILA Doc. No. 17063037

Think Immigration: Travel Ban - An Update

6/27/2017
Anastasia Tonello, AILA President-Elect, shares an update on the Supreme Court’s travel ban decision which she writes, “did little to provide clarity or consistency” and means “that more time will elapse before we have any real understanding of the final fate of this ill-conceived executive order.”
AILA Doc. No. 17062731

Think Immigration: New World Requires New Strategies

6/23/2017
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

6/22/2017
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!

6/19/2017
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

6/13/2017
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

6/8/2017
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

6/5/2017
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?

6/1/2017
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

5/26/2017
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

5/24/2017
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

5/19/2017
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

5/18/2017
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

5/17/2017
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

5/12/2017
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

5/10/2017
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!

5/1/2017
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

4/21/2017
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

4/20/2017
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

4/14/2017
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

4/11/2017
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

4/11/2017
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

3/24/2017
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

3/16/2017
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

3/15/2017
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

3/1/2017
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?

2/16/2017
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

2/1/2017
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

1/19/2017
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

1/18/2017
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?

1/13/2017
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