AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Sidley Austin LLP with the 2020 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award

6/12/20 AILA Doc. No. 20061260.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Sidley Austin LLP with the 2020 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field.

Founded more than 150 years ago, Sidley Austin LLP has a strong tradition of pro bono and public interest service. In 2006, Sidley formalized its long-standing commitment to pro bono representation of immigrants and launched its Political Asylum and Immigrants' Rights Project. The Project is a firmwide initiative through which Sidley attorneys provide pro bono legal services to immigrants in individual representations and impact litigation. Working with nonprofit organizations around the country, Sidley attorneys have helped countless immigrants seeking asylum and other immigration relief, including Special Immigrant Juvenile status. For more than a decade, Sidley has hosted pro bono immigration clinics to help asylees and refugees become lawful permanent residents of the United States and to be reunited with their family members.

In addition to these individual representations, Sidley has undertaken litigation to protect the rights of large groups of immigrants who are seeking to build a new life in our country. Sidley has provided pro bono representation in cases to address the forcible separation of families at the United State border, to protect the right for immigrants to have access to counsel and to certain public benefits, to advocate for the release of detained noncitizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the due process rights of Cambodian nationals subject to deportation. Sidley has also partnered with AILA, Justice Action Center, Innovation Law Lab, and Latino Network to prevent enforcement of a Presidential Proclamation that would bar immigrants who are unable to demonstrate that they would be covered by "approved health insurance" in the United States within 30 days of entry or that they have sufficient wealth to pay for "reasonably foreseeable medical costs."

In 2019, Sidley lawyers devoted more than 118,000 hours to pro bono matters, including more than 10,000 hours to immigration matter and Sidley attorneys represented clients from more than 30 countries in pro bono immigration matters.

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.

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