AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

AILA Elects New Officers for 2021-2022

6/10/21 AILA Doc. No. 21061042.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

AILA Elects New Officers for 2021-2022

Allen Orr, Jr. to serve as president of association

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) today elected new officers to its Executive Committee for the 2021-2022 term. Allen Orr, Jr. was installed as AILA’s President and the following officers were elected today: Jeremy McKinney as President-Elect, Farshad Owji as First Vice President, Kelli Stump as Second Vice President, Jeff Joseph as Treasurer, and Alexis Axelrad as Secretary.

Allen Orr, Jr. Installed as President of AILA

Allen Orr, Jr. was installed as the association’s 75th President; he is the first African American AILA President in the organization’s history.

Mr. Orr is the founder of the Washington, D.C., based Orr Immigration Law Firm PC. The firm specializes in U.S. corporate compliance, as well as maintaining a focus on global corporate representation and assisting on immigration-related issues. From 1998-2010, he built 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. He has earned dozens of diversity awards and received the AILA President’s Commendation in 2016 for exemplary service as the first Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair for the association.

Mr. Orr has appeared on NPR, SiriusXM, BBC, FOX News, and Deustsche Welle, and is a frequent domestic and international speaker on US immigration and policy. He has been quoted in Law360, USA Today, Bloomberg, Forbes, Barron’s, and MarketWatch among others. He has been a panelist for the Council on Foreign Relations, US National Archives, Bipartisan Policy Center, and The New York Times on race and immigration issues.

From 2000 until 2010, Mr. Orr served on the national steering committee for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and its predecessor organization, which led the way in winning the battle to defeat the draconian “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and put an end to anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the United States Armed Forces. He was the co-chair for the 9th Annual End the Witch Hunts dinner held in Washington DC in 2001.

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., and Virginia Bar associations. His Twitter handle is @allenorresq.

Jeremy McKinney Named President-Elect of AILA

Jeremy McKinney an immigration attorney from Greensboro, NC, was named the association’s President-Elect for the 2021-2022 term.

Mr. McKinney is the founder of 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, Fifth, 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 First Vice President, Second Vice President, 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 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. Mr. McKinney is a former Captain & Trial Counsel in the North Carolina Army National Guard, as well as a U.S. Army veteran deployed to Jordan at the beginning of the second Iraq War.

Mr. McKinney is active on Twitter; his handle is @McKJeremy.

Farshad Owji Elected First Vice President of AILA

Farshad Owji, an immigration lawyer from San Francisco, CA, was elected as the association’s First Vice President for the 2021-2022 term.

Mr. Owji is a San Francisco partner at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP, an immigration firm focused on technology and excellence. 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 J. Stump Named Second Vice President of AILA

Kelli J. Stump, an immigration attorney from Oklahoma City, OK, was elected as the association’s Second Vice President for the 2021-2022 term.

Ms. Stump possesses over 10 years 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 AILA and 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 (BOG) and was Chair of the 2019 Annual Conference. She is the immediate past Chair of the AILA Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Committee. She has served as a member of many National AILA Liaison committees including several years on the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Committee, EOIR 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.”

Jeff Joseph Named Treasurer of AILA

Jeff Joseph, an immigration attorney whose practice is based in Denver, CO, was elected as the association’s Treasurer for the 2021 - 2022 term.

Jeff Joseph is a graduate of the University of Denver, College of Law. He is a past Chapter Chair of the Colorado Chapter of AILA and a past elected director on the AILA National Board of Governors. He has formerly served in numerous leadership positions in AILA including as Chair of the AILA National 2011 Annual Conference, the AILA National Liaison Committee with the Department of Labor for three years, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review for two years, two terms as chair of the AILA Amicus Committee, for three years as a member of the National US Citizenship and Immigration Services Liaison Committee and for three years as a member of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Liaison Committee.

Mr. Joseph was on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council from 2006-2012 and served as Chair of the Litigation Action Committee. In 2004, he received the Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award from AILA. In 2005, he was named a finalist in the Denver Bar Association/Denver Business Journal Best of the Bar Awards. In 2008, Mr. Joseph was nominated by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver's "Forty under 40" which recognizes forty young entrepreneurs for their business skills, leadership, and community service.

In 2009-2021, Mr. Joseph was selected by his peers for inclusion into the Best Lawyers in America in the field of immigration. And, in 2015 and 2021 he was named Best Immigration Lawyer of the Year in Denver by Best Lawyers. In 2006 through 2021, Mr. Joseph was named a Colorado Superlawyer by Colorado Superlawyer Magazine. In 2008, Mr. Joseph was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to the Colorado Non-immigrant Agricultural Seasonal Worker Pilot Program Advisory Council. He has been qualified as an expert witness before the state and federal courts on employment-related and criminal- related immigration issues and is a frequent local and national lecturer on various immigration topics.

Mr. Joseph has represented clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and the Circuit Courts of Appeals, and has published several opinions in those courts. He is an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is bilingual in Spanish.

He is active on Twitter – his handle is @jeffjoseph.

Alexis S. Axelrad Elected Secretary of AILA

AILA elected Alexis S. Axelrad, an immigration attorney from New York, NY, as the association’s Secretary for the 2021-2022 term.

Ms. Axelrad is a partner with Barst Mukamal and Kleiner LLP, where she maintains a busy corporate and family-based immigration practice with a particular emphasis on interaction with the various offices of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Justice Department including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of State, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Born in New York City, Alexis S. Axelrad has over two decades of experience in immigration and nationality law. Ms. Axelrad previously served as an elected director of AILA National's Board of Governors (BOG) and as the Chair of AILA National’s CBP Committee. She is a past Chair of the New York Chapter of AILA and served in every capacity on the NY chapter's Executive Committee. Ms. Axelrad is also an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Executives Association of New York and serves on the Membership and Diversity and Inclusion Committees of the organization.

She is the recipient of the distinguished 2020 AILA Susan Quarles Service Award and a past recipient of AILA President's Commendation Award for Outstanding Service on the USCIS HQ liaison committee, June 2008-2010 & 2014, 2019. New York Super Lawyers has listed her in the 'rising stars' section of top immigration attorneys in New York in 2011 and 2012, and as a Super Lawyer from 2013 to present. She is recognized by Chambers & Partners USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and was selected in Lawdragon 500 Leading US Corporate Employment Lawyers 13th Guide, 2021.

Ms. Axelrad was the author of quarterly column on immigration matters published in the New York Law Journal and the researcher and writer of US Immigration Laws: Working, Living and Studying in America (1999). She is a frequent writer for periodicals and speaker on immigration and nationality law and is honored to be a source of information and guidance for her colleagues in and outside of the immigration bar and for the NYC Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) community.

Ms. Axelrad received her B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park (1994) After earning her J.D. from New York Law School (1997), Ms. Axelrad was admitted to practice in New York in 1998.

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.