AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Greg Siskind with the 2020 Advocacy Award

6/17/20 AILA Doc. No. 20061760.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Greg Siskind of Memphis, TN, with the 2020 Advocacy Award for outstanding efforts in support of AILA's advocacy agenda.

Greg Siskind is a founding partner of Siskind Susser in Memphis and has been practicing immigration law since 1990. He received his bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from the University of Chicago.

He has channeled his passion for immigration law in three ways — writing, advocacy, and law practice management. He is the author of several books including the annually published J-1 Visa Guidebook, the American Bar Association's Lawyers Guide to Marketing on the Internet, the I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, the Physician's Immigration Handbook, and the Entrepreneur's Immigration Handbook. He has also written hundreds of articles on immigration law over his career.

Mr. Siskind's advocacy roles have taken many forms. He chaired the IMG Taskforce for many years and helped lead the organization's lobbying efforts. For that he received the Roberta Freedman lifetime achievement award from the International Medical Graduate Taskforce, the country's physician immigration bar organization. He helped lobby for and draft the rules for the Delta Regional Authority's physician J-1 waiver program. He's been involved in drafting a number of immigration bills on a range of immigration topics. In 2007, he testified regarding one of those bills in front of the House of Representatives Immigration Subcommittee. He has led pro bono litigation efforts designed to force change in government policies. And for the last decade he’s been an elected member of the board of AILA, where he's served on more than a dozen committees and recently co-chaired the Political Engagement Taskforce.

Mr. Siskind also pioneered the use of social media for immigration law advocacy. Over 13 years, he has gained nearly 20,000 followers on Twitter (including several hundred journalists), and he has been able to garner publicity for a variety of immigration-related causes. ABC News named him as one of the top 20 people to follow on Twitter to keep up with the immigration debate and Law360 included him on a list of 20 lawyers across the country "killing it" on Twitter.

His passion for legal tech began in 1994 when he created, the world's first immigration law firm web site and Siskind's Immigration Bulletin, the first law firm e-newsletter. He created the first lawyer blog in 1997. And in 2016, he became one of the first immigration lawyers to develop artificial intelligence-based expert systems to help lawyers and laymen more efficiently deal with immigration matters. He has recently developed several apps that are helping bridge the access to justice gap.

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.