Alert: View AILA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

For pre-2017 blog posts, please visit the Think Immigration website.

Blog: Think Immigration

Think Immigration: Practicing Immigration Law in the COVID-19 Era – Post 4

In this blog post, AILA Board of Governors member Neena Dutta muses on the COVID-19 pandemic, the varying impacts on peoples' lives and livelihoods, and her personal experience, reminding everyone that in this time, socially distant though we may be, we are not alone.
AILA Doc. No. 20040638

Think Immigration: Practicing Immigration Law in the COVID-19 Era – Post 3

AILA’s Second Vice President Jeremy McKinney shares his plans to apply for assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the COVID-19 crisis to help his law firm stay in business; an update on how he navigates the process will be forthcoming.
AILA Doc. No. 20040234

Think Immigration: Immigrants Are Behind the Wheel of Detroit’s Revival

AILA member Aaron Kochenderfer shares the positive impact that immigrants have had on Detroit, Michigan, as the city orchestrates a comeback from bankruptcy only a few years ago, writing: "Detroit's history was written by immigrants and I firmly believe they will help author its future as well."
AILA Doc. No. 20033134

Think Immigration: Practicing Immigration Law in the COVID-19 Era – Post 2

Alma Rosa Nieto, AILA’s Media Advo Committee member, offers some details from her life and work as an immigration attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic, writing: "This too will pass and we will all have learned new ways of doing things, skills we can use later."
AILA Doc. No. 20033036

Think Immigration: We Must Right the Wrongs Being Committed in Our Name on Our Southern Border

AILA’s Asylum Committee Vice Chair Lindsay Harris describes the asylum seekers she met just before the COVID-19 pandemic really began in the United States. She encourages us all to take action and "right the wrongs being committed in our name on our Southern border."
AILA Doc. No. 20032735

Think Immigration: Practicing Immigration Law in the COVID-19 Era – Post 1

Sandra Feist, AILA’s Media Advo Committee Chair, shares a glimpse into an immigration attorney’s life during the COVID-19 pandemic, writing: "My hope is that we all come out of seclusion with greater self-confidence about our own fortitude in a crisis and a greater connectivity with our community."
AILA Doc. No. 20032632

Think Immigration: No End in Sight: New Analysis Shows USCIS Case Processing Backlog Keeps Growing

AILA’s ED Benjamin Johnson highlights USCIS processing delays, writing, "Even before the COVID-19 virus, backlogs and processing delays were staggering at USCIS. They have continued to grow thanks to burdensome policies and inefficient procedures that needlessly bog down the adjudications process."
AILA Doc. No. 20031936

Think Immigration: Business Continuity Planning: Immigration Law Practice in the Era of COVID-19

In this blog post, AILA member Ruby Powers offers some tips she has learned from practicing law through hurricanes and running her practice from half a world away—tips that can be applied in our current COVID-19 era.
AILA Doc. No. 20031604

Think Immigration: When a Phone Call Truly Means Life or Death

In this blog post, AILA member, and Immigration Justice Campaign volunteer with the El Paso Immigration Collaborative (EPIC), Elizabeth Fiechter describes the Kafkaesque labyrinth of obstacles she and her client faced trying to simply speak by phone ahead of an extremely important bond hearing.
AILA Doc. No. 20031033

Think Immigration: My Time in Dilley, Texas

In this blog post, part of the Diversity & inclusion blog post series, AILA member L. Patricia Ice describes her time volunteering at the Dilley detention center helping families and how the shared bond of being members of the African diaspora helped her connect with one client.
AILA Doc. No. 20030401

Think Immigration: Trump Administration’s Continued Discriminatory and Unlawful Immigration Policies Toward Haiti

In this post, part of the Diversity & Inclusion Blog post series, AILA members John Pratt and Kevin Gregg offer insights into efforts to terminate TPS for Haitians, and highlight how "the work of litigators . . . is critical in the fight to expose and legally challenge . . . immigration decisions."
AILA Doc. No. 20022833

Think Immigration: Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency? More like an Administrative Strip Search

AILA member Kara Hart takes a look at the new I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency required to meet the public charge rule and considers whether she'd be able to meet the requirements herself.
AILA Doc. No. 20022738

Think Immigration: The Bill That Would Guarantee Attorney-Client Access (But Wait, Don’t We Already Have That?)

In this blog post, AILA member Brent Renison describes why new legislation to allow access to counsel for immigrants placed into secondary or deferred inspection upon entry would "allow fairness to have jurisdiction at the borders."
AILA Doc. No. 20022431

Think Immigration: Defending Freedom Needs More Than Heroes – Governments Must Be Accountable

In this blog post, AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen calls for change as he describes the dichotomy between how the Venezuelan opposition leader was hailed at the State of the Union and how vulnerable Venezuelan asylum seekers are treated at the border.
AILA Doc. No. 20022131

Think Immigration: An Inside Look - Tips from a Clinical Social Worker Helping Asylum Seekers

Psychological evaluations can be hugely important for vulnerable clients' cases, but attorneys may have some questions about how to best approach having one done. In this blog post, Jocelyn Dyer shares helpful tips from Aimee Miller, a clinical social worker.
AILA Doc. No. 20021132

Think Immigration: Diversity in Immigration Law Firms

In this post, part of the Diversity and Inclusion blog post series, AILA members John Pratt, David Calles Smith, and Elizabeth Montano highlight the myriad benefits of a diverse and inclusive immigration law firm.
AILA Doc. No. 20020701

Think Immigration: The Truth About Our Immigration Court System

AILA Second Vice President Jeremy McKinney describes why an independent immigration court is so desperately needed and shares resources related to his recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee Immigration Subcommittee about this issue.
AILA Doc. No. 20013101

Think Immigration: After AILA Attends Tour of the Laredo Tent Court, Questions Still Abound

Greg Chen, Leidy Perez-Davis, and Katy Murdza report back on the recently offered tour of tent court facilities in Texas and explain why AILA remains deeply concerned about the lack of due process. They urge the administration to "end the use of tent courts and the Remain in Mexico program."
AILA Doc. No. 20013035

Think Immigration: Immigration Judge vs. Passport Agency – the Battle Over Mario’s Citizenship Is Finally Over

In this blog post, AILA member Eva Garcia Mendoza describes the lengths she had to go to in order to protect her client Mario after repeated and concerted efforts to deny him the U.S. citizenship which was rightfully his, noting, "Immigration lawyers know that our work changes peoples' lives."
AILA Doc. No. 20012801

Think Immigration: Resolve to Do Pro Bono – One Attorney’s Experience

AILA member Kursten Phelps shares a recent volunteer experience with asylum seekers and urges that we all resolve to engage, writing, "There are naturalization clinics to staff, border assistance projects to plug into, translations, remote CFI and bond hearing assistance to support."
AILA Doc. No. 20011332

Think Immigration: The Travel Ban – Iran as an Example of Why the Administration Should Revisit This Cruel Policy

AILA BOG member Ally Bolour describes the impact of the administration's travel ban, using the example of Iran to show how and why the ban is "cruel and unnecessary." He urges everyone to "continue to fight against it for all those impacted, their families, American businesses, and our communities."
AILA Doc. No. 20010331

Think Immigration: Top AILA Videos and Blog Posts of 2019

This blog post highlights the most-read blog posts and most-watched videos produced and published by AILA in 2019 - take a look, and see you in 2020!
AILA Doc. No. 19123100

Think Immigration: They/Them/Ours

In this blog post, part of the Diversity and Inclusion Blog Post series, AILA Member Sarah Pitney describes how taking 30 seconds to discuss pronouns with a client or colleague can ensure your firm is more welcoming and inclusive.
AILA Doc. No. 19122703

Think Immigration: Germany’s New Business Immigration Law

In this blog post, AILA member Dominique Pando Bucci explains how Germany, through measures such as the Skilled Immigration Act, is opening its arms to foreign workers.
AILA Doc. No. 19122041

Think Immigration: Individuals Seeking Protection in El Paso Detention Centers Continue to Face the Impossible. Help Us Push Back.

In this blog post, AILA member Rebekah Wolf explores some of the hurdles asylum seekers are facing in El Paso, Texas, and explains how to help push back by getting involved with the Immigration Justice Campaign and the El Paso Immigration Collaborative (EPIC).
AILA Doc. No. 19121844

Think Immigration: Eyes on the Border but Shut Out of the Tent Courts

In this blog post, AILA's leaders share insights from the recent border delegation where they witnessed the terrible impact of the Remain in Mexico policy, urging "more coordination among advocates, more aggressive litigation in each immigration courtroom, more petitions and class actions..."
AILA Doc. No. 19121303

Think Immigration: Why Immigration Lawyers Should Care about the TRAP Act - It Will Address INTERPOL Abuse

AILA member Sandra Grossman highlights the efforts in Congress to address the abuse of INTERPOL Red Notices in the U.S. immigration context and urges support for the TRAP Act which would move INTERPOL to improve transparency and deter abuse of their system.

Think Immigration: Names Are Important

In this blog post, part of the Diversity and Inclusion Blog Post Series, AILA Member L. Patricia Ice explains the reasoning behind shifting the name of the AILA African American Interest Group to the African Diaspora Interest Group and invites interested AILA members to join the group.
AILA Doc. No. 19112530

Think Immigration: Prepping for the Next Debate: Where the Candidates Stand on Immigration

AILA's Greg Chen and Cara Pavlak highlight the positions of the Democratic presidential candidates on immigration and encourage readers to use the AILA 2020 Election Guide, and the accompanying social media toolkit, to engage on immigration during the debate.

Think Immigration: Disturbing Lack of Transparency Implicates Government Data Reliability

AILA member Alison Griffith describes the recent concerns regarding the reliability of EOIR immigration court data received via FOIA and urges people to contact Congress about the need for EOIR to share accurate data upon which the public depends.
AILA Doc. No. 19111506

Think Immigration: AILA University - Your New Resource for Immigration Law Knowledge

AILA University Committee Vice Chair Teddy Chadwick describes the new resources available to AILA members today and going forward through AILAU - "I'm sure that no matter your immigration law knowledge or experience, you will find AILA University useful."
AILA Doc. No. 19111331

Think Immigration: DREAMERs Hope: Fate of DACA at the Supreme Court

AILA Member Faye Kolly describes the cases the U.S. Supreme Court will hear November 12, 2019, relating to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and urges support for permanent protection for DREAMers, writing "While the Supreme Court decision is important, it is not a solution."
AILA Doc. No. 19111103

Think Immigration: For Our Tomorrow, Immigrant Veterans Gave Their Today

This Veterans Day is a good time to reflect on the Trump administration’s policy changes that impact veterans and servicemembers; AILA encourages readers to contact congressional representatives and advocate for simple but immensely important changes to help veterans and their families.
AILA Doc. No. 19110801

Think Immigration: Keyword: Temporary. Why the War Over the President’s Health Insurance Proclamation Has Just Begun

AILA Director of Federal Litigation, Jesse Bless, offers insight into the recent litigation against the president's proclamation requiring health insurance and the next steps in the lawsuit, including seeking additional plaintiffs.
AILA Doc. No. 19110530

Think Immigration: Standing Up for Immigrants in the Midst of an Immigration Crackdown

Karen Lucas, Director of the Immigration Justice Campaign, highlights the incredible impact that pro bono help can have, writing, “Immigration attorneys . . . attorneys from different areas of law . . . and volunteers from other fields altogether, have made an immense—often lifesaving—difference."
AILA Doc. No. 19110102

Think Immigration: Can We Talk?: Avoiding “Gotcha” Moments

In this blog post, part of the AILA Diversity & Inclusion series, committee member Dahlia French uses Canadian PM Trudeau as an example of how "gotcha" moments occur and urges a proactive alternative: "Frank and civil conversations about meaningful diversity and inclusion efforts..."
AILA Doc. No. 19102503

Think Immigration: Ten Destructive Measures Advanced Under USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli

In this blog post, AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd highlights 10 measures undertaken by USCIS's Acting Director which "constitute an abandonment of USCIS’s duty to fairly and efficiently facilitate legal immigration" and urges Congress to hold the agency fully accountable.
AILA Doc. No. 19102330

Think Immigration: Immigration in the 2020 Election

In this blog post, AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Fiona McEntee describes her plans to use the new 2020 presidential election guide from AILA now, and during the upcoming debates; she also highlights some specific responses garnered from candidates regarding USCIS accountability.

Think Immigration: You Are the World’s Heroes

AILA Member Andrea Martinez recently participated in a Netflix Docuseries “Living Undocumented” and in this blog post she shares the key takeaways from conversations with viewers, namely that audiences feel that the work of immigration attorneys is important, difficult, necessary, and yes, heroic.
AILA Doc. No. 19100830

Think Immigration: Amicus Committee Supports Virginia Asylum Applicant Seeking In-State Tuition

In this blog post, AILA Amicus Committee member Sabrina Damast highlights the impact of amicus efforts, describing them in the context of a case affecting in-state tuition in Virginia for someone in the asylum backlog.
AILA Doc. No. 19100292

Think Immigration: Successful Practice Management from the Ground Up

Ruby Powers, author of the recently released AILA resource, Build and Manage Your Successful Immigration Law Practice (Without Losing Your Mind), shares some insights that helped her develop and maintain her own practice and surmount various challenges.
AILA Doc. No. 19092634

Think Immigration: Searching for Fairness and Transparency — A Firsthand Look at the Port Courts in Laredo and Brownsville

Read today's update from inside the San Antonio, TX, court where IJs are hearing cases of asylum seekers located at DHS's new tent facilities in Brownsville and Laredo, TX, via video teleconference. AILA staff Laura Lynch and Leidy Perez-Davis are on the ground to learn about the new port courts.
AILA Doc. No. 19091603

Think Immigration: We All Need to #HoldUSCISAccountable

In this blog post, AILA Administrative Litigation Task Force leaders Tammy Fox-Isicoff and Ron Klasko urge everyone to do their part to hold USCIS accountable for the unprecedented inaction and delays in adjudications by utilizing resources AILA offers designed to move a case forward.
AILA Doc. No. 19091230

Think Immigration: Life Happens – Making Accommodations for Your Caregiving Workforce

In this piece, part of the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce's blog post series, AILA member Ann Cun shares her personal family experience and how it shaped her understanding of the need to have flexible options for caregivers to meet personal and professional needs.
AILA Doc. No. 19090630

Think Immigration: Thinking Beyond the Border When U.S. Immigration Hurdles Arise

In this blog post, AILA member Roman Zelichenko and co-author Michelle LePage describe the differences between U.S. and Irish immigration policies related to business needs and how "if the U.S. isn't able to compete, other countries will benefit."
AILA Doc. No. 19082636

Think Immigration: Ending Protections for World War II Veterans, What’s Next?

In this blog post, Alma Rosa Nieto describes the Trump administration's announced termination of a program for Filipino World War II veterans writing, "If we are truly committed to honoring these brave veterans, then we must do all that we can to ensure that they are supported and cared for."
AILA Doc. No. 19081307

Think Immigration: The Trump Administration’s Recent Efforts to Undermine Asylum, Explained

AILA member Catha (Nikki) Lyons describes how the administration's "Asylum Ban 2.0" is contrary to both domestic and international laws and encourages other lawyers to do their best to inform and educate the public about U.S. laws.
AILA Doc. No. 19080503

Think Immigration: How to Shrink the USCIS Backlog in One Minute or Less

USCIS leadership recently testified about a backlog reduction plan which, AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd argues, would simply move the goalposts and not solve the backlog at all. "We deserve a USCIS that rises to its processing time goals, not one that runs from them," writes Boyd.
AILA Doc. No. 19073105

Think Immigration: It Is Time to Stop Detaining Asylum Seekers

AILA member Allegra Love calls for an end to the detention of asylum seekers, highlighting two videos that show the immense harm of detention and writing, "It is time we act, so the story of our country is the bravery and resilience of people like Alpha and Luz, and not the brutality of detention."
AILA Doc. No. 19072522

Think Immigration: What Would Fix the Immigration Courts? Well, Independence is a Start!

AILA Secretary Kelli Stump highlights recent efforts by AILA and its partners to urge Congress to establish an Article I immigration court system to ensure that "when cases are as serious as they are, when lives and livelihoods are on the line” justice is served and people get a fair day in court.
AILA Doc. No. 19071906

Think Immigration: When Will the U.S. Government Stop Detaining and Abusing Migrant Children?

In this blog post, AILA member Ola Mohamed draws attention to the conditions migrant children have been subjected to and encourages a "grassroots movement, a sustained outcry for the abolishment" of the detention of migrant children.
AILA Doc. No. 19071835

Think Immigration: Why Would a Busy Immigration Lawyer Start a Podcast?

In this blog post, AILA member David Wilks shares his experience launching a podcast to address the "general misunderstanding of how the immigration system works" that members of the public often seem to share. He also provides links to other AILA member podcasts.
AILA Doc. No. 19071630

Think Immigration: Continuing to Build Vital Bridges

In this blog post, adapted from her speech as outgoing AILA president, Anastasia Tonello reflects on the past year and the bridges AILA and our members have built and the impact we have had.
AILA Doc. No. 19070530

Think Immigration: No, Out of Sight Doesn’t Mean Out of Mind This Time

AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson shares four concrete steps the administration should take to improve the asylum process rather than try and strong-arm Mexico into helping deny asylum seekers the due process mandated by our laws.
AILA Doc. No. 19070390

Think Immigration: One Way to Tell if it is Paranoia or Good Practice: Ask the Experts

AILA member Amanda Brill shares a recent experience in which lessons learned from other AILA experts in the Athletics, Culture, Entertainment, and Science (ACES) interest group helped her serve her clients, and encourages others to attend the upcoming first-ever ACES conference in August.
AILA Doc. No. 19062890

Think Immigration: Lighting the Beacon of Hope for Our Clients and Our Country

This blog post is adapted from AILA President Marketa Lindt's installation speech given at AILA's 2019 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. A video of her speech is embedded as well.
AILA Doc. No. 19062501

Think Immigration: Why Immigration Lawyers Shouldn’t Do Math

AILA Media Advocacy Committee Member Sandra Feist shares the math behind where the H-1B fees have been going, supporting more than $5 billion in training and scholarships in STEM fields for Americans and making a huge difference to researchers and educators alike.
AILA Doc. No. 19061933

Think Immigration: President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Program Is an Assault on Human Rights

AILA member Isabel Duarte describes a recent immigration court hearing she witnessed with families impacted by the “Remain in Mexico” or “Migrant Protection Protocols” policy, showing how the program harms families and is an assault on human rights and due process.
AILA Doc. No. 19061280

Think Immigration: Immigration Attorneys, It’s Time to Add a Whole New Section to Your Client Screening Sheets

In this blog post, AILA member and ACLU MN Policy Counsel Julia Decker highlights recent changes to social media information collection and the serious civil liberties implications and chilling effect the collection will have.
AILA Doc. No. 19060703

Think Immigration: AILA Bylaws Amendments! Now That I’ve Got Your Attention…

In this blog post, AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney urges AILA members to vote on a set of bylaws amendments, writing that while most of them aren't Earth-shattering, there are amendments that would provide much needed "structure, formality, risk management, and most importantly, due process."
AILA Doc. No. 19060335

Think Immigration: Let’s Break Down the “Perpetual Foreigner” Stereotype

In this blog post, part of the AILA Diversity & Inclusion series, committee member Olivia Lee explores her own family's history and urges all of us to break down the "perpetual foreigner" stereotype that can divide us.
AILA Doc. No. 190524

Think Immigration: The Fight on Behalf of Transgender Asylum Seekers Detained in Pearsall

AILA Senior Counsel of Pro Bono Program Jocelyn Dyer highlights recent wins for transgender asylum seekers detained in Pearsall as part of the Immigration Justice Campaign and urges readers to get involved to help more detained immigrants get a fair day in court.
AILA Doc. No. 19051504

Think Immigration: Advocacy in Action: Congress Demands Answers from USCIS

In this blog post, AILA Media Advocacy Committee Member Fiona McEntee reflects on NDA 2019 and the successful effort to have Congress hold USCIS accountable for crisis-level processing delays.
AILA Doc. No. 19051333

Think Immigration: But the Royal Baby Actually Is a U.S. Citizen…

AILA member John Manley explains why the citizenship of the new British royal baby is even a question, and highlights some of the complexities of U.S. immigration law.
AILA Doc. No. 19050831

Think Immigration: A Spotlight of Misinformation

AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson details recent misinformation from the president about the border, immigrants, and asylum seekers, and notes, “Sadly, the Trump administration’s border enforcement strategy remains largely unchanged even as the nature of the challenge has changed dramatically.”
AILA Doc. No. 19050735

Think Immigration: Michelle Angela Ortiz: Illuminating Injustice Through Art

AILA Senior Legal Editor Rizwan Hassan highlights a visual artist and community educator, Michelle Angela Ortiz, who has brought attention to families detained in Berks, PA, writing "we must use whatever skills and talents we have at our disposal to battle the injustices we see."
AILA Doc. No. 19050600

Think Immigration: USCIS Acknowledges That Its Own Policies Compound Case Processing Delays

AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd highlights data from a recent USCIS response to Congress, noting evidence that “USCIS policies are undermining the agency’s statutory mandate to efficiently process applications and petitions for immigration benefits” and calling for USCIS to be held to account.
AILA Doc. No. 19043031

Think Immigration: A New Resource on Immigration Law: AILA Law Journal Is Live!

In this blog post, AILA President Anastasia Tonello announces the inaugural edition of the AILA Law Journal, highlighting the articles and themes within the seven pieces and inviting articles for future editions.
AILA Doc. No. 19042671

Think Immigration: “What Do You Mean I’m Not a U.S. Citizen?”

AILA member Tracie Klinke's recent experiences in practicing family immigration law helped develop the sessions for AILA's Annual Conference Family Track. Have you experienced similar situations? Join us in Orlando to learn solutions. Save $250 on the advanced registration rate through May 13.
AILA Doc. No. 19041933

Think Immigration: Americans Abroad Among Those Being Left in the Lurch by the Trump Administration

AILA member Jeremy Weber shares insights into the vital role USCIS International Operations serve and highlights how closure of those offices will negatively impact all too many Americans, their families, American businesses, and refugees.
AILA Doc. No. 19041830

Think Immigration: The Chess Prodigy and Asylum Policy

AILA member and Senior Legal Editor Rizwan Hassan writes about the recent New York State Scholastic Chess child champion Tanitoluwa Adewumi as an example of the asylum seekers and refugees who have made America great over generations, urging that we take action and call for good immigration policy.
AILA Doc. No. 19040996

Think Immigration: Black Immigrant History is Part of Black History Month

In this blog post, part of the AILA Diversity & Inclusion series, AILA Second Vice President Allen Orr recognizes Black History Month, shares important research and analysis, and writes, "In the drive for immigration reform, black immigrants must not be forgotten or left out of the equation."
AILA Doc. No. 19022695

Think Immigration: End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act: What's Wrong with the Trump-McConnell Bill

AILA member Sabrina Damast highlights the damaging provisions in the bill supported by the administration to end the shutdown which would negatively impact Dreamers, TPS recipients, and asylum seekers.
AILA Doc. No. 19012470