AILA Presents Kathleen Campbell Walker with the Founders Award

Saturday, June 21, 2014

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods


BOSTON,MA — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will award Kathleen Campbell Walker of El Paso, TX, with the Founders Award, which is given from time to time to the person or entity having the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy. She will receive the award today during AILA's Annual Conference in Boston, MA.

Ms. Walker's tireless work and dedication to AILA and to the field of immigration law cannot be overstated. This year, she logged countless hours leading two committees with formidable missions: the AILA Interagency Liaison Committee and the AILA Transparency Task Force. Tasked with identifying cross-agency substantive and procedural immigration issues and advocating for their resolution, the Interagency Committee is comprised of the chairs and vice chairs of all of AILA's liaison and issue development committees. With her leadership, the committee developed and received comprehensive answers to a series of questions to the agencies following the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. The committee also developed position papers on a number of critical interagency issues, presented a unified front to the agencies involved during the spring liaison meetings, and facilitated conversations.

In April, after years of trying, AILA successfully secured a meeting with representatives from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to start a dialogue on cross-agency issues such as provisional waiver and I-130 adjudications and biometrics for individuals in removal proceedings. Other agencies, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of State (DoS), have similarly expressed a willingness to meet on issues of mutual concern. This opportunity is available thanks to the work of Ms. Walker and the Interagency Committee.

In addition, Ms. Walker undertook the difficult and often thankless task of leading a taskforce on transparency, which, among its other accomplishments, developed a new set of rules for the association's message center, reviewed AILA's practices on numerous fronts and described them for the membership in a series of FAQs, and grappled with the ways that professional interaction has changed in the internet age.

Over the years, Ms. Walker has chaired or served on more than a dozen committees, including those for the DoS, CBP, Interagency, and the Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee for Worksite Enforcement. She served on AILA's Executive Committee for seven years, including her term as President in 2007-08 and General Counsel in 2009-10.

A shareholder with Cox Smith Matthews firm in its El Paso office, she heads their Immigration Practice Group. She is also board-certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) and has been recognized locally and nationally for her work.

Ms. Walker has frequently presented testimony on a variety of immigration subjects at the federal and state legislative levels including: border security, U.S. Visit, border infrastructure, immigration policy and national security, security of the vote, enforcement of immigration laws, as well as immigration reform and economic security.


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.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 14062142.