Annual Awards


As an association of the nation's finest immigration attorneys, it is our distinct pleasure to recognize and celebrate the individuals and organizations who have achieved excellence in immigration over the last year. Awards are given in up to 11 categories for exceptional work in immigration: Advancing the Practice of Immigration Law; Advocacy; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Human Rights; Litigation; Media Leadership; Mentorship; Pro Bono; AILA Service Excellence; Teaching; and Young Lawyers. In addition, the Founders Award is given from time to time to the person or entity having the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy in the preceding period.

The 2022 AILA Annual Awards will be presented during the immigration bar’s most-anticipated event of the year: the 2022 AILA Annual Conference, held this June in conjunction with our 75th anniversary celebration in New York City.

AILA 2022 Annual Award Recipients

Human Rights | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Advancing Practice of Immigration Law | Teaching | Litigation | Young Lawyer | Media | Pro Bono | Mentorship | AILA Service | Founders Award

  • Guerline Jozef, Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award
    For outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights (established 1983, renamed 2003)
  • Olivia Serene Lee, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award
    For outstanding efforts in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion excellence in the immigration legal profession
  • Sandra A. Grossman, Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award
    For excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law
  • Rebecca Kitson, Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award
    In recognition of outstanding professors in the area of immigration law
  • Immigration IMMpact Litigation, Jack Wasserman Memorial Award
    For excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law
  • Matthew T. Galati, Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award
    For outstanding contributions made as a young lawyer in the field of immigration and nationality law
  • Camilo Montoya-Galvez, Media Leadership Award
    In recognition of coverage that most accurately depicts immigration, immigrants, and related issues (established 2000)
  • AILA Afghan Response Task Force, Michael Maggio Pro Bono Award
    In recognition of outstanding efforts in providing Pro Bono representation in the immigration field
  • Ian Wagreich, Sam Williamson Mentor Award
    For outstanding efforts and excellent counsel to immigration attorneys by providing mentoring assistance (established 1992)
  • Marc Van Der Hout, Susan Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award
    Awarded periodically in recognition of outstanding volunteer services by an AILA member, over a period of several years, in advancing the mission, development, and value of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for its members and the public it serves
  • Charles Oppenheim, The Founders Award
    Awarded periodically to the person or entity who has had the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy in the preceding period