AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Tracy Harper and Patrick Taurel with the 2024 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award

6/5/24 AILA Doc. No. 24060500.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods


WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Tracy Harper and Patrick Taurel with the 2024 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field.

Ms. Tracy Harper has been an active member in the Colorado nonprofit community, striving to work on access to services for immigrants in all areas. For several years now, Ms. Harper has been leading the biggest, most organized pro bono efforts in Colorado and currently works at Catholic Charities managing the Afghan Legal Services Project. As a result of her dedicated work and strong leadership, hundreds of Afghan families received pro bono representation to file their asylum applications. In addition, the follow up services her program provides to the Afghan families has assisted with dozens of family reunifications, adjustments, and other vital and necessary services. More recently, Tracy has begun organizing large-scale TPS clinics to provide free legal services to Venezuelans in need. As her nominator put it, while many attorneys “have felt overwhelmed by the immense immigration legal needs in our communities, Tracy has repeatedly put her passion and strong judgement into action to build legal projects with scaleable impact” and she “approaches every case, every client, every family in need, with kindness, empathy, and expertise.” Her commitment to pro bono work inspires others to contribute as well.

Patrick Taurel was described by his nominator as having “a fierce dedication to defending the rights of his clients, especially those who are most vulnerable,” and he has shown it by spending hundreds of pro bono hours going above and beyond for clients in unjust and desperate situations. Among his pro bono clients have been those harmed by a persecutory INTERPOL Red Notice. He is known among his peers as a strategic, innovative, and devoted attorney. Above all else, he is known for his unapparelled passion for and devotion to his clients. As his nominator noted, “Amidst the stress and trauma of immigration proceedings, Patrick’s clients take solace in knowing that their attorney will do everything in his power to get the best outcome he can, regardless of their ability to pay.”