AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Elects New Officers for 2019–2020

6/20/19 AILA Doc. No. 19062031.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

ORLANDO, FL - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) today elected new officers to its Executive Committee for the 2019–2020 term. The election results were announced at the official membership meeting during AILA's Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Marketa Lindt was installed as AILA's President and the following officers were elected today: Jennifer Minear as President-Elect, Allen Orr as First Vice President, Jeremy McKinney as Second Vice President, Farshad Owji as Treasurer, and Kelli Stump as Secretary.

Marketa Lindt Installed as President of AILA

Marketa Lindt, an immigration lawyer from Chicago, IL, was installed as the association's President for the 2019-2020 term. Ms. Lindt is a partner at the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP, where she works with U.S. and multinational corporations to manage their business immigration visa programs to best attract and retain foreign national talent. She also leads her firm's I-9 compliance practice, where she assists employers with implementing best practices for worker verification, advises companies on immigration-related issues in mergers and acquisitions, and defends companies in administrative and criminal immigration-related proceedings.

In addition to her work in representing U.S. companies, Ms. Lindt is actively engaged in AILA and other networks, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to advocate for change in our immigration laws to better serve U.S. employers and immigrant communities. Ms. Lindt has also worked for a number of years in AILA's government liaison and litigation efforts to advocate for reasonable interpretations of the immigration laws.

Ms. Lindt has authored numerous articles for leading immigration texts, including AILA's Guide to Worksite Enforcement and Compliance, the Guide to PERM Labor Certification, and numerous annual editions of the Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook. She is a primary author of the immigration law and practice treatise Business Immigration Law - Strategies for Employing Foreign Nationals and has appeared a number of times on television, radio and in print regarding developments in immigration law.

Beyond her service to her clients and the immigration bar, Ms. Lindt is committed to pro bono work and providing access to counsel for underserved immigrants. For a number of years, she has served as a member of the Leadership Board of the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. She also serves in an advisory capacity to several Chicago-area cultural institutions and to organizations that provide assistance to underserved immigrant communities.

Ms. Lindt is engaged on social media; her Twitter handle is @marketalindt

Jennifer Minear Named President-Elect of AILA

Jennifer Minear, an immigration attorney from Richmond, VA, was named as the association's President-Elect for the 2019-2020 term. Ms. Minear is a director in the Immigration Practice Group at McCandlish Holton in Richmond, VA, where her practice focuses on employment-based immigration, with a particular emphasis on the healthcare sector, including J-1 waiver and green card processing for foreign medical graduates.

She is the 2014 recipient of the Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award, in recognition of her outstanding service over a period of years in advancing the mission, development, and value of AILA for its members and the public it serves. Ms. Minear has served AILA as a volunteer in a wide range of capacities. She has been a member of, or chaired, liaison committees and conference program committees, spoken at numerous AILA conferences, and written for AILA publications. She was an elected member of the AILA Board of Governors from 2012 - 2015.

Ms. Minear received her B.A. from the University of Maryland and graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School. Her Twitter handle is @jenniferminear.

Allen Orr Elected First Vice President of AILA

Allen Orr, an immigration lawyer from Washington, DC, was elected as the association's First Vice President for the 2019-2020 term. Mr. Orr is the founder of Orr Immigration Law Firm PC, a minority-owned law firm based in Washington, D.C., focusing on U.S. corporate compliance as well as global corporate representation and assistance on immigration issues. He previously assisted in building one of the leading global immigration practices at a large global law firm, where he developed an international network of immigration practitioners, government officials and business leaders. Mr. Orr managed an I-9 compliance audit for a Fortune 10 company, which involved review and analysis of all immigration records relating to 250,000 employees. He met with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding the implementation of proposed immigration laws, such as the current U.S. labor certification system.

The recipient of the 2009 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award for contributions made in the immigration law field from AILA, Mr. Orr is listed in The International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. He has served as the Immigration Section Chair for the National Bar Association and as an elected member of the AILA Board of Governors.

Mr. Orr has appeared on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), FOX News, Russian TV (RT) and Deustsche Welle (DW), and is a frequent national and international speaker on US immigration and policy.

Mr. Orr received a BA in Philosophy from Morehouse College and a JD from Howard University's School of Law. He is an active member of the D.C., Virginia, and National Bar Associations. His Twitter handle is @allenorresq.

Jeremy McKinney Named Second Vice President of AILA

Jeremy McKinney, an immigration attorney from Greensboro, NC, was elected as the association's Second Vice President for the 2019-2020 term. Mr. McKinney has lived and worked in Greensboro for over twenty years, having founded McKinney Immigration Law firm, with offices in Greensboro and Wilmington. He is a North Carolina Board Certified Immigration Law Specialist and is admitted to practice law in North Carolina, the Middle, Eastern, and Western District Courts of North Carolina, along with the Fourth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

He has proudly been an AILA member since 1997. During that time, Mr. McKinney has served various leadership roles including Treasurer, Secretary, Elected Director, Chair of AILA's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) liaison committees, and Chair of the AILA Carolinas Chapter.

Mr. McKinney graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993 and later received his Juris Doctorate from Campbell University School of Law in 1996. He has previously taught Immigration Law at Elon University School of Law as an Adjunct Professor, and served on the North Carolina State Bar's Specialization Committee.

He and his wife, Cynthia Ligon McKinney have been married 22 years, and are parents to Ethan, 18, and Sophia, 16. Mr. McKinney is active on Twitter; his handle is @McKJeremy.

Farshad Owji Named Treasurer of AILA

Farshad Owji, an immigration attorney whose practice is based in San Francisco, CA, was elected as the association's Treasurer for the 2019-2020 term.

Mr. Owji is the managing attorney of Owji Law Group, a boutique firm in the Jackson Square historic district of downtown San Francisco that specializes in business immigration as well as family-based cases and consular practice. Mr. Owji's areas of expertise include investment visas, consular processing of family- and employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and business litigation. Specifically, he guides start-up companies to make intelligent immigration decisions for a firm's establishment and successful growth in the U.S.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Mr. Owji received a law degree from Ankara University in 1994, and directly after law school, accepted an internship, and soon after a position, at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Branch Office in Ankara, Turkey. Later he obtained his J.D. and LL.M. from University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 2000. Mr. Owji held a position as Senior International Associate at Deloitte, LLP and in 2002, he opened his immigration practice in the Financial District of San Francisco.

Mr. Owji is a current member of the Florida, Minnesota, and District of Columbia bars, as well as the Istanbul Bar Association in Turkey. He is also admitted to practice before the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Kelli Stump Elected Secretary of AILA

Kelli Stump, an immigration attorney whose practice is based in Oklahoma City, OK, was elected as the association's Secretary for the 2019-2020 term.

Ms. Stump possesses more than a decade of experience in a practice limited exclusively to immigration law. Her practice is focused primarily on family-based immigration, complex deportation with emphasis on "crimmigration" matters leading to inadmissibility and deportability, and federal litigation in the immigration context. To date, she has argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on four occasions.

Ms. Stump is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) where she is a Past Chair of the Texas/Oklahoma/New Mexico Chapter. Additionally, she has served as an elected director of the AILA Board of Governors and was Chair of the 2019 Annual Conference. She is the immediate past Chair of the AILA Executive Office for Immigration Review Committee. She has served as a member of many National AILA Liaison committees including several years on the Immigration Customs Enforcement Committee, Executive Office for Immigration Review Committee, and the Conference Planning Committee.

The author of several articles on immigration law, she has also served as an editor for the AILA annual conference handbook and fundamentals book. Ms. Stump has also been recognized as a "Rising Star" for Super Lawyers in Oklahoma and she has been selected by her peers to be included in "Best Lawyers in America."