Immigration Law Section

Immigration Law Section

Message from the Chair

Section Chair:


Betty Stevens
Fairfax, VA

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I am honored to be selected as the Chair of the FBA’s Immigration Law Section for 2017-2018.  I joined the ILS Board of Directors in 2010, pleased to have found a congenial group of immigration lawyers who were more than willing to include a government litigator in their midst.  I believe that professional diversity is key to the continued growth of the ILS – which has tripled in size since that time.  We must continue to be a resource for education, not issue advocacy – especially if we hope to keep the government lawyers, including the immigration judges, as panelists for our seminars and conferences.   The ILS speaks for all of its members, be they private bar, immigration judges and BIA members, agency attorneys, DOJ litigators, or federal judges.  We welcome all to our various efforts – be it our yearly conference, luncheons, webinars, or seminars. 

Over the next year, the Section faces two big issues: what to do about the proposed bylaws, approved by the Board this past year and returned without approval by National; and the future leadership of the section.  The two issues are related, both prompted by the new policy enacted by the FBA National Board in June, which bars any officer from serving more than one term as Chair – and also bars past ILS officers from becoming a voting ILS Board member.  The policy is effective as of October 1, 2018 and we have until then to pass new bylaws that conform to the national policy.  Although the National Board has sent the proposal back to the Sections and Divisions Council, to consider the various comments provided by the individual sections and report back to the Board, all indications point to it being unlikely that the one-time-on-the leadership-ladder provision will be reversed.  Implementation may change, and the ability of former officers to be voting members of the Board may change.  But nothing is set in stone as of yet. 
The ILS Advisory Council will become a key player in ILS continuity – I intend to use this council of senior ILS members frequently, asking it to propose different solutions and ideas for Board consideration.  I am asking the Advisory Council to select a member to attend the Board meetings, to provide valuable context, advice, and history for the Board.    

Over this transition year, the ILS will work towards establishing a new system for choosing Board members, in hopes of ensuring both continuity and new faces.   The 2017-2018 Board is drawn from all over the United States, from San Francisco to Boston, EOIR to ICE to State to private bar, and everyone is excited to meet the coming challenges.  We’ll work together to re-energize ILS committees and planning for our May 2018 conference in Memphis, seminars in DC and NY, webinars, the Green Card, and other publications and media.  We’ll continue the Immigration Leadership Luncheon program in DC, which is co-sponsored by the DC Chapter - and seek to expand that into new cities.  We’ll be reaching out to our colleagues in the veteran’s arena to work together to set up training programs on naturalization for veterans.  And we’re trying a new 4-panel seminar on Federal Litigation in the immigration context on November 30 in DC. 
We’re open to your ideas and suggestions for new programs, particularly if you want to work on implementing them.  And we’re always looking for additional committee members – you do not need to be on the Board to be on a committee! 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with ideas for seminars or programs, to volunteer, or just to talk.
 
Elizabeth (Betty) Stevens 

 


Resources

Immigration Law Facebook Page


Immigration Law Section by-laws


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