AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

AILA Recognizes Michael K. Mehr with the 2019 Sam Williamson Mentor Award

6/19/19 AILA Doc. No. 19062043.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will recognize Michael K. Mehr of Santa Cruz, CA, with the 2019 Sam Williamson Mentor Award. The award is named in acknowledgment of Sam Williamson's outstanding efforts and excellent counsel to immigration attorneys by providing mentoring assistance. The award will be presented to Mr. Mehr this week during AILA's Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.

Michael K. Mehr, holds a B.A., attained in 1973, from the University of California, Santa Cruz (with honors) and a J.D., attained in 1976, from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Mr. Mehr is an attorney in private practice in Santa Cruz, California who has practiced removal defense and postconviction relief since 1979. He is coauthor of Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit: Impact of Crimes Under California and Other State Laws (10th ed 2008 ILRC) by Katherine A. Brady, Norton Tooby and Angie Junck and a co-author of "Representing the Noncitizen Criminal Defendant" in California Criminal Law Procedure and Practice (Cal CEB 2008-2019).

A frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs including AILA National and California conventions, Mr. Mehr was the expert witness in People v. Bautista (2004) 115 CA 4th 229 (failure to defend against immigration consequences may be ineffective assistance of counsel) and counsel for the petitioner in Negrete-Ramirez v. Holder, 741 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir 2014) (INA §212(h) waiver not barred for aggravated felons admitted post entry). Mr. Mehr frequently mentors attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions on listservs, CLE lectures, and webinars. He is a prolific author of amicus briefs on crim-imm issues, and has helped draft and pass legislation in California bringing some equity to noncitizen criminal defendants, notably P.C. §1203.43 (withdrawal of plea for certain minor drug convictions based on misinformation) and amending P.C. §1000 (pre-plea diversion for minor drug offenses).