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Defending Immigration Removal Proceedings 2020


Speaker(s): Barbara Camacho, Cristina Romero, Cyrus D. Mehta, Deborah Lee, Desireé C. Hernández, E. Scott Morvillo, Kenneth Craig Dobson, Lauren Anselowitz, Linda Kenepaske, Paul O'Dwyer, Steven Sacco, Wendy Wylegala
Recorded on: Jul. 23, 2020
PLI Program #: 278244

Craig Dobson provides ethics advice to lawyers, represents lawyers in disciplinary matters, and practices immigration and nationality law at Dobson Law LLC.  He has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Furman University and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from New England School of Law.  During law school, he received CALI awards in both the Law and Ethics of Lawyering and International Business Transactions and served as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of International and Comparative Law.  He previously served as Georgia UPL Liaison for the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Georgia-Alabama Chapter and was appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia to serve as Chairperson of the District 1 UPL Committee for the State Bar of Georgia from 2014 to 2017.  He is currently Chair of AILA’s National Ethics Committee and is Co-chair AILA New York’s Ethics Committee.  He is also a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility’s (APRL) Cross-Border Practice Subcommittee, which is working on proposed amendments to current ABA multi-jurisdictional practice rules.  Additionally, he is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Mindfulness & Wellbeing in Law Committee and AILA’s new lawyer well-being committee.  In October 2017, he became one of the first National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coaches.


Cyrus D. Mehta, a graduate of Cambridge University and Columbia Law School, is the Managing Partner of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners PLLC in New York City.

Mr. Mehta is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association   (AILA) where he currently serves as the Vice Chair of its  Ethics Committee overseeing the publication of the multi-volume AILA Ethics Compendium. Mr. Mehta is on the  editorial board of the AILA Law Journal and Bender’s Immigration Bulletin. He is a board member of The New York Immigration Coalition and a board member of Volunteers of Legal Services. He is also special counsel on immigration matters to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Mr. Mehta was formerly a member of AILA’s Administrative Litigation Task Force; AILA’s FOIA Strategy Committee; AILA’ s EB-5 Committee, former chair  AILA’s Ethics Committee; former chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council and former chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law of the New York City Bar Association.

Mr. Mehta  is a frequent speaker and writer on various immigration-related issues, including on ethics, and is also an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, where he teaches a course entitled Immigration and Work. He has also been Chair of the Practising Law Institute’s annual Basic Immigration Law program and the companion Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Crime Victim, and Other Immigration Relief program for several years.

Mr. Mehta received the AILA 2018 Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for advancing the practice of immigration law and the AILA 2011 Michael Maggio Memorial Award for his outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field. He has also received three AILA Presidential Commendations in 2010, 2016 and 2020.  Mr. Mehta is ranked highly by Who’s Who Legal – Corporate Immigration Law and also by Chambers USA and Chambers Global in immigration law, among other rankings.


Deborah Lee is the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge within the Immigration Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society, where she helps manage the legal representation of a wide-range of immigrants before U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.  Prior to joining The Legal Aid Society, Deborah Lee was a Senior Staff Attorney with Sanctuary for Families’ Immigration Intervention Project, where she represented foreign-born victims of domestic violence, trafficking and gender violence.  Her previous experience includes serving as Supervising Attorney for the Children’s Legal Project at Americans for Immigrant Justice (previously known as Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center) and a Jesuit Refugee Service Fellow with Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).  Ms. Lee frequently trains and writes on immigration legal remedies for vulnerable populations.  She has published articles in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Immigration & Nationality Handbook, as well as a practice advisory with AILA on immigrant youth issues.  Ms. Lee is a graduate of Swarthmore College, Harvard Divinity School, and Georgetown University Law Center. 


Desireé C. Hernández Sánchez is the Deputy Executive Director and Legal Director of Safe Passage Project, a nonprofit providing free legal representation to unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings in New York.  She is an adjunct professor at New York Law School, where she teaches the Immigration Law and Litigation Clinic.  Prior to joining Safe Passage Project, Ms. Hernández Sánchez represented individuals in affirmative applications before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and immigrants with complex litigation in removal proceedings with before the Executive Office for Immigration Review Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Ms. Hernández Sánchez graduated from New York Law School. She has a B.A. in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico. She is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey. Ms. Hernández Sánchez is fluent in Spanish.


E. Scott Morvillo has represented high-profile individuals and corporations in a wide range of criminal, regulatory, and civil matters.  Scott is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York where he investigated and tried numerous cases as a federal prosecutor. He has vast experience in all aspects of criminal prosecutions from investigation through trial, when appropriate. Scott represents individuals and companies in a wide range of federal and state investigations by prosecutors and regulators, ranging from allegations of securities and bank fraud to public corruption and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He also conducts internal investigations for companies relating to potential misconduct.

Scott has significant experience representing individuals in criminal matters, including advising and representing lawful permanent residents in matters that have potential immigration consequences.  He has also assisted previously convicted lawful permanent residents obtain relief from those convictions to avoid negative immigration consequences, including successfully obtaining a writ of error coram nobis for an individual to permit a withdrawal of a previous guilty plea and dismissal of the criminal charges.

Scott regularly practices before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Second Circuit, the New York State Supreme Court, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory agencies. From 2000 to 2001, Scott clerked for the Honorable Barbara S. Jones in the Southern District of New York and from 2002 to 2007, Scott served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where he investigated and tried a wide variety of criminal cases in the areas of RICO, narcotics, money laundering, bank fraud and credit card fraud.


Lauren Anselowitz is a partner of the firm Harlan York and Associates. Named to Best Lawyers in America, her most noted accomplishments include successfully arguing multiple cases under the Convention Against Torture before the U.S. Immigration Court. The Executive Office for Immigration Review reported that less than 1% of these cases are granted. Ms. Anselowitz also won oral argument before the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, one step below the U.S. Supreme Court, to vacate a deportation order for a client of the firm.

In recent years, she has personally represented clients of Harlan York & Associates at Immigration Court and Service Offices in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Ms. Anselowitz has successfully resolved complex family and employment-based green card applications, issues of citizenship and a number of different nonimmigrant visa petitions. Her experience includes H, L, E, O and R visas. Additionally, Ms. Anselowitz has worked extensively on applications under the Violence Against Women Act.

Ms. Anselowitz has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law in the Justice Studies Department at Montclair State University. She has lectured at Rutgers University School of Law as well as before the New Jersey State Bar, the Federal Bar Associations and the American Immigration Lawyers Associates. She was honored as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for four years.

A graduate of North Carolina State University and Seton Hall Law School, Ms. Anselowitz earned a Master of Arts Degree from the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations. She also attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt and served in the field of international criminal law at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. She previously lived in Pretoria, South Africa and has spent time in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Senegal, the Gambia, Ethiopia and Morocco.

Ms. Anselowitz is admitted to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.


Linda Kenepaske has been representing private and corporate clients in all aspects of immigration law in her New York City based practice for more than 25 years.  Linda has served as chair and member of many local and national AILA committees, was previously Chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the New York City Bar, is currently Co-Chair of the Association of Deportation Defense Attorneys  (ADDA) in New York City, and serves on the Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Section Advisory Board.  She lectures frequently on a variety of immigration topics. She is AV rated and has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” since 2009. 


Steven is a staff attorney with the Immigration Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York City, where he practices humanitarian and family immigration law and deportation defense. Prior to the Legal Aid Society he was a staff attorney with the African Services Committee, also of New York City. He has been practicing immigration law in New York for six years.


Tina Romero is senior staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society.  She specializes in immigrant youth representation, practicing in both state and federal courts.  She advises the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Practice on immigration matters, supervises pro bono attorneys, and coordinates the New York City SIJS Advocates' group, which engages in local and national policy advocacy.  In 2014, she started the Immigrant Youth Advocacy Externship at Columbia Law School. She also assisted in the creation of the ICARE coalition to ensure unaccompanied children in New York City obtained representation in immigration court.  Tina graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2001 magna cum laude.  She received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2005.  She is admitted in New York and Illinois.


Barbara Camacho is Pro Bono Counsel at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP. As Pro Bono Counsel, Barbara is responsible for managing the firm’s pro bono initiatives throughout the United States.  She has overall responsibility for coordinating and mentoring Fragomen attorneys in the United States in their pro bono representation of clients in removal proceedings, asylum, and applications for a variety of available immigration benefits. She is also responsible for developing and providing training to volunteer attorneys, supervising and litigating pro bono cases, and acting as the firm’s liaison to various non-profit legal service providers with which the firm partners. Barbara is a frequent panelist on a variety of immigration issues, including removal defense and children’s immigration issues before bar associations, community groups and child protective agency personnel.

Previously, as the Fragomen Fellow at the City Bar Justice Center, Barbara directed the Center’s Immigrant Outreach Project, which included the Varick Removal Defense Project. She worked to expand the Justice Center’s recruitment, training and mentoring of pro bono attorneys from leading law firms to address the crisis in lack of counsel for detained immigration cases in the New York metropolitan area. Barbara served as a mentor to pro bono attorneys in addition to providing direct representation to immigrant clients, both detained and non-detained. She developed, supervised and strengthened pro bono immigration outreach clinics and activities to benefit the community at large.

Barbara Camacho graduated from Drew University, B.A., 2000 and received her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law. She is admitted to the practice of law in New York, New Jersey, Third Circuit, Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  


Paul O’Dwyer is an established immigration attorney with over twenty years’ experience in all aspects of immigration law, with a strong focus on asylum and removal defense.

Mr. O’Dwyer is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and the Honorable Society of Kings’ Inns, Dublin. He was admitted to practice in New York State in 1990, and since then to numerous Federal Courts of Appeals and District Courts nationwide. Mr. O’Dwyer is a former chair and current member of the National Refugee and Asylum Liaison Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a former member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law, and is a regular writer and speaker on panels and seminars on immigration law.


Wendy Wylegala is Director for Legal Strategy at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national non-profit organization that provides free legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children facing removal proceedings.  She prepares practice guidance, provides case-specific technical assistance to a legal staff of over 200 in KIND’s ten field offices, and supports KIND’s litigation program.  Wendy joined KIND in November 2008, working in the Newark, NJ and New York, NY field offices where she trained and mentored pro bono attorneys, and conducted intake interviews and know-your-rights programs for detained and released unaccompanied children.  From 2011 to 2016 she served as supervising attorney in the New York field office.  Before joining KIND, Wendy worked at a private law firm for eight years, and represented special immigrant juvenile clients on a pro bono basis.  Before attending law school, she was an Ombudsman at New York City’s Office of the Public Advocate.  She is admitted to practice in New York, and received her law degree from New York University School of Law, and her B.A. from Barnard College.  She is a member of the New York City Chapter of AILA, and serves as Secretary of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.