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49th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute


Speaker(s): Aaron R. Marcu, Allen Orr Jr, Austin T. Fragomen, Jr., Carmen M. Rey, Catherine L. Haight, Charles Kuck, Cynthia Juarez Lange, Cyrus D. Mehta, Hon. Sarah Burr (Ret.), Ira J. Kurzban, Jacqueline C. Wolff, Jojo Annobil, Kathleen Campbell Walker, Lincoln Stone, Lori Adams, Mark R. von Sternberg, Marketa Lindt, Michelle Mendez, Rebecca Peters, Robert E. Juceam, Sarah K. Peterson, Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, Vincent W. Lau
Recorded on: Dec. 7, 2016
PLI Program #: 150534

Allen Orr is the founder of Orr Immigration Law Firm PC, a minority-owned law firm based in Washington, DC and focusing on a US corporate compliance as well as global corporate representation and assistance on immigration issues.

Mr. Orr previously helped to build one of the leading global immigration practices at a large global law firm, where he developed a global network of immigration practitioners, government officials and business leaders.  Mr. Orr managed an I-9 compliance audit for a Fortune 10 company which involved review and analysis of all immigration records relating to its 250,000 employees.

Mr. Orr is the recipient of the 2009 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award for contributions made in the immigration law field and specifically for his work with the Young Lawyers Division, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He is listed in The International Who’s who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.  He is the Immigration Section Chair for the National Bar Association and the National Treasurer for AILA.

Mr. Orr is a frequent speaker on US and global emerging business immigration issues.  He is a Senior Editor of the Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook and an Associate Editor of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Global Immigration Guide: A Country-by-Country Survey.

Mr. Orr received a BA in Philosophy from Morehouse College and a JD from Howard University’s School of Law.


Austin T. Fragomen, Jr. is Chairman of the global law firm of Fragomen Worldwide. Over the course of his career in immigration, Austin has served as staff counsel to the US House of Representatives subcommittee on immigration, citizenship and international law and as an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law and as Chairman of the New York City Bar Justice Center.  Austin has testified before Congress on a range of immigration issues.  He serves as Chairman, Business Mechanism, Global Forum Migration and Development; and has also participated as a panelist at multi-stakeholder hearings on the Global Compact on Migration at the United Nations.

Austin is also the founding co-author of a renowned series of immigration handbooks that provide information on the best practices and latest developments in the field of business immigration, published by Thomson Reuters/West. He is vice chairman of the board of directors of the Center for Migration Studies; editorial board member of the International Migration Review; chairman of the board of directors of the Council on Global Immigration; co-author of the Practising Law Institute's Immigration Fundamentals; distinguished author, Thomson Reuters/West, Member of the Board, Jesuit Refugee Service(JRS), Member Advisory Board, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University and fellow, American Bar Foundation.

Austin is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia. His court admissions include the US Supreme Court; US District Court of the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia; US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Third Circuit and District of Columbia Circuit. He was educated at Case Western Reserve School of Law, JD, and Georgetown University, BS.


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 a member of AILA’s Administrative Litigation Task Force; AILA’s EB-5 Committee; former chair of AILA’s Ethics Committee; special counsel on immigration matters to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee, Appellate Division, First Department, New York; member of the ABA Commission on Immigration; board member of Volunteers for Legal Services and board member of New York Immigration Coalition.  Mr. Mehta is the 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. He 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.  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 two AILA Presidential Commendations in 2010 and 2016.  Mr. Mehta is ranked among the most highly regarded lawyers in North America by Who’s Who Legal – Corporate Immigration Law 2019 and is also ranked in Chambers USA and Chambers Global 2019 in immigration law, among other rankings.


Jojo Annobil is the Executive Director of Immigrant Justice Corps, an innovative two year fellowship program for recent law school and college graduates.

He is also an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law where he co-teaches the Immigrant Defense Clinic and serves as Special Counsel to the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division First Department’s Disciplinary Committee on Immigration matters.

He also serves as co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Immigration Representation.


Judge Burr was appointed as an Immigration Judge in New York by Attorney General Janet Reno in 1994. In 2006, Judge Burr was appointed Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in charge of the New York, Fishkill, Ulster, Bedford Hills and Varick Street immigration courts. She returned to the bench full time in 2011, and has since retired. She is on the Board of Directors of the Immigrant Justice Corps, and is active in the Katzmann Study Group. She has also served as a referee for the Disciplinary Committee of the Appellate Division, First Department. Finally, she is a member of the New York City Bar Association's Immigration and Nationality Committee.

Prior to her judgeship, Judge Burr worked as a staff attorney in the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society in their trial and appeals bureaus. She was also a supervising attorney in their immigration unit. Judge Burr served as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge John Caden, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.


Lincoln Stone has counseled hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs in obtaining US visas authorizing work in startups and emerging businesses, and has represented more than 3,500 investors in achieving residence through the EB-5 investor visa category.  Dozens of Lincoln’s business clients have raised more than $4 billion for some 200 different job-creating enterprises from EB-5 investors.  Lincoln’s EB-5 practice focuses on removal of conditions on permanent residence, with thousands of successful clients. 

Lincoln’s 25 year adventure with investment immigration draws on experience, training and/or research of interdisciplinary areas such as regional economics, securities, business transactions, real estate, accounting, renewable energy, finance, and targeted area investment tools including historic and new market tax credits, redevelopment bonds, and tax increment financing.  Lincoln’s legal training includes all areas of immigration law, business and real estate litigation and transactions, INS trial attorney experience, a federal appellate court clerkship, municipal law, zoning and land use law.

Lincoln was the Conference Program Chair for the first five editions of AILA’s National EB-5 Investor Visa Conference.  He also served five years as Chair of AILA’s National EB-5 Investor Visa Committee.  Lincoln has published some 40 articles on various aspects of investor and entrepreneur immigration, and has been a conference speaker or panelist about 100 times before audiences sponsored by government agencies, universities, institutions, business and trade associations, and business, real estate, tax and immigration lawyers.  Lincoln is the Editor-in-Chief of all three editions of Immigration Options for Investors and Entrepreneurs, published by AILA, and he is Chief Editor of the Regional Center Business Journal, published by IIUSA.  Lincoln received two separate AILA President Commendations in 2010 and 2011 for leadership and advancing EB-5 investor visa practice.

Lincoln is a Certified Specialist in immigration and nationality law, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and other publications.  Lincoln served as Chair of AILA’s National Pro Bono Committee, and received two AILA President Commendations − For Outstanding Service and Innovation as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee (2008) and For Leadership of AILA’s Pro Bono Efforts (2009).  Lincoln is a partner of Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP, an emerging full-service immigration law firm of 22 immigration attorneys, where practice excellence, societal impact and pro bono work are emphasized and attorneys pursue a well-rounded immigration law experience as embodied in the legal specialization program.

Lincoln holds the degrees of Juris Doctor, Master of Arts in Humanities, and Bachelor of Business Administration.


Lori Adams is the Director of the Immigration Intervention Project at Sanctuary for Families.  She represents asylum seekers before the immigration courts and in the asylum offices, leads the organizations advocacy efforts on behalf of immigrant survivors of gender-based harm, mentors pro bono counsel, and oversees a team of immigration attorneys and advocates who assist foreign-born survivors of gender violence. The team and the pro bono counsel she supports provide the full spectrum of immigration applications and defenses for which clients and their families are eligible, including asylum applications, U-Visas, T-Visas, humanitarian waiver applications, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitions, applications for Special Immigration Juvenile Status, DACA, cancellation of removal, and naturalization.

Before joining Sanctuary for Families, she was the Managing Attorney in Refugee Representation at Human Rights First, where she oversaw the pro bono legal representation of indigent asylum seekers. In that capacity, she provided support to volunteer lawyers from law firms in New York and New Jersey who represent asylum seekers at all levels of the system. She also provided information and legal services to asylum seekers in immigration detention, and helped to coordinate their legal representation.  Human Rights First opened an office in Houston, Texas in the spring of 2014 and she oversaw the pro bono legal representation of indigent asylum seekers in that area too. 

Ms. Adams is a member of Study Group on Immigrant Representation, launched by Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which aims to increase high-quality pro bono representation of asylum seekers and otherwise address the unmet legal needs of the immigrant poor. She is also a member of the Working Group on Immigrant Representation, led by Judge Michael A. Chagares of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which has similar aims in New Jersey.  Ms. Adams is a frequent speaker on immigration-related topics and a co-author of a report on the negative impact of the one-year filing deadline in asylum cases.  

Before joining Human Rights First, Ms. Adams was the attorney advisor in the New York Immigration Court, where she drafted decisions for twenty-eight immigration judges and supervised the work of the court’s law clerks and interns. She also worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and for the Honorable Deborah A. Batts in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Adams has a philosophy degree from the University of Oregon and a law degree from New York Law School. She is on the Advisory Council of the Immigration Law Section of the Federal Bar Association, is a member of the I-ARC (Immigrant Active Response Collaborative) steering committee, a member of the Asylum Working Group, and member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  She is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.


Marketa Lindt works with U.S. and multinational corporations to implement efficient business immigration visa programs to best attract and retain foreign national talent. Marketa also leads Sidley’s I-9 compliance practice, where she counsels and defends companies regarding their hiring practices of foreign national employees and compliance with the government’s I-9 verification requirements. Her I-9 compliance practice includes providing proactive counseling on I-9 hiring practices and the E-Verify process, defending employers in civil and criminal workplace enforcement actions, conducting immigration-related internal investigations, and conducting due diligence and analysis of I-9 issues in mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

In addition to representing U.S. companies with their business immigration and I-9 compliance needs, Marketa is actively engaged in national and regional advocacy efforts to change our laws and regulations so that they better serve U.S. employers, foster economic growth and promote fairness and justice in the immigration system. She currently serves as elected President-Elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce immigration policy committee.

Marketa regularly speaks at national and regional conferences regarding immigration law and I-9 compliance. She is a primary author of the immigration law and practice treatise Business Immigration Law. Marketa has also authored articles for a number of leading immigration texts, including AILA’s Guide to Worksite Enforcement and Compliance, the Guide to PERM Labor Certification, and numerous annual editions of the Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook.  She serves as an editor of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook. She has appeared a number of times on television, radio and print regarding developments in immigration law. Marketa is recognized as a leading corporate immigration attorney worldwide in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal: Illinois.

Marketa is committed to providing access to counsel for underserved immigrants. She serves in an advisory capacity to several Chicago-area cultural institutions and organizations that provide assistance to underserved immigrant communities. For a number of years, Marketa has served as a member of the Leadership Board of the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago.


Stephen Yale-Loehr has practiced immigration law for 35 years. He is co-author of Immigration Law and Procedure, the leading 21-volume treatise on U.S. immigration law. He also teaches immigration and asylum law at Cornell Law School as Professor of Immigration Practice and is of counsel at Miller Mayer in Ithaca, New York. He also founded and was the original executive director of Invest In the USA, a trade association of EB-5 immigrant investor regional centers.

Mr. Yale-Loehr received his B.A. degree from Cornell University in 1977 and his J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School in 1981. He was editor-in-chief of the Cornell International Law Journal. After graduation, Mr. Yale-Loehr clerked for a federal judge.

From 1982 to 1986 Mr. Yale-Loehr practiced international trade and immigration law at a large law firm in Washington, D.C. From 1986 to 1994 he was managing editor of Interpreter Releases and executive editor of Immigration Briefings, two leading immigration law publications.

Mr. Yale-Loehr is the coauthor or editor of many books, including Green Card Stories; America’s Challenge: Domestic Security, Civil Liberties and National Unity After September 11; Balancing Interests: Rethinking the Selection of Skilled Immigrants; Global Business Immigration Practice Guide; J Visa Guidebook; Understanding the Immigration Act of 1990; Understanding the 1986 Immigration Law, and numerous law review articles.

Mr. Yale-Loehr is a member of the New York bar and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a non-resident Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He chairs the business immigration committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He is also a founding member of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, www.abil.com, a global consortium of top business immigration attorneys.

Mr. Yale-Loehr is annually listed in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and An International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers as one of the best immigration lawyers in the world. He is listed in Who’s Who in America. He is frequently quoted in the press on immigration issues and has often testified before Congress. He is the 2001 recipient of AILA’s Elmer Fried Award for excellence in teaching and the 2004 recipient of AILA’s Edith Lowenstein Award for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

For more information see http://stephenyaleloehr.com.


Aaron R. Marcu is a partner in the New York office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and heads the US litigation practice. He is also global head of the firm’s pro bono practice. Aaron represents major financial institutions, other public companies and senior executives in white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement investigations and related civil litigation. He also conducts internal corporate investigations and advises corporate boards and board committees in connection with sensitive controversies.

Aaron currently represents several global banks in multijurisdictional investigations involving allegations of price-fixing and market manipulation in the LIBOR, Foreign Exchange and Precious Metals markets. He also has represented financial institutions and other public companies in investigations involving alleged financial accounting and other securities fraud, insider trading, stock options backdating, cartel and other anti-competitive activity, and foreign corrupt payments. He also advises public companies on disclosure questions and issues of corporate governance.

Before going into private practice, Aaron was a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from 1983 to 1989. In addition, he served as the Office’s Associate United States Attorney, as Chief Appellate Attorney and Chief of the Major Crimes Unit. Aaron was a member of the US Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Council and received the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance. He also served as Commissioner of the New York Civilian Complaint Review Board from 1995 to 1998. Aaron has been widely recognized for excellence and was recently named the 2015 Transatlantic Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer and shortlisted for the 2015 Chambers USA Awards White Collar Crime & Government Investigations Lawyer of the Year. He is listed in Chambers USA; Americas Leading Business Lawyers; The Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers; The Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers; International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers; Best Lawyers in America and Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (“National White Collar Litigation Star”).

Aaron earned his BSJ from Northwestern University with Highest Distinction in 1977 and his JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1980. He has served on the Boards of the Federal Bar Council, the Federal Bar Foundation and the New York Council of Defense Lawyers and is a Trustee of the New York Blood Center. He is also on the Board of Visitors of the Northwestern University College of Arts and Sciences.


Cynthia leads the firm’s High Tech practice in the heart of Silicon Valley.

As the Managing Partner of the firm’s Northern California practice, she directs the strategic representation of companies ranging from large Fortune 500 companies to small start-up companies in the firm’s “e-group.” She has worked with numerous companies to set up and manage worldwide immigration compliance programs. She also offers legal advice to individual investors (i.e., EB-5).

Cynthia is a longtime Adjunct Professor at Southwestern University School of Law where she has taught since 1988. She also frequently lectures on corporate immigration and, as a thought leader in the industry, she has written numerous articles on business immigration law matters.

Cynthia is also the Managing Partner in charge of the firm’s I-9 Service Center, which offers state of the art electronic I-9 tools and advisory services for proper I-9 and E-Verify completion. She is experienced in government investigations, audits and establishing compliance programs for companies.

Cynthia has served as a member of Fragomen's Executive Committee. Cynthia joined Fragomen over 30 years ago, after beginning her career at the U.S. Department of Justice as an INS trial attorney.


Prior to joining the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Mrs. Peters worked with the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) in the Washington DC metro-area for nearly fifteen years, helping to advance high skilled immigration and employment verification reforms with the U.S. Congress, the White House and the federal agencies. She has served as a chair of the policy committee of the Compete America coalition. She also serves on other coalitions and working groups to educate and advance immigration system efficiencies and to ensure critical changes to employer immigration compliance are reasonable.

She is a frequent speaker on issues of high skilled immigration reform and is viewed as an immigration policy expert both inside and outside the beltway. Mrs. Peters also serves on the Women in Government Relations leadership team, as a Vice Chair of its membership committee and is SHRM’s liaison with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Before CFGI, she practiced immigration law at a Washington D.C.- based law firm and has also served as an attorney and policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service. Mrs. Peters also spent time representing the government in immigration court proceedings. She received her J.D. and M.P.A. from Syracuse University’s College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Robert E. Juceam, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and former Chair of its National Committee on Ethics, is Of Counsel and a former Partner of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. His practice includes representation of attorneys in discipline matters as well as complex commercial litigation and insurance and reinsurance disputes. His full bio is at www.friedfrank.com.


Carmen Maria Rey is Deputy Director of the Immigration Intervention Project at Sanctuary for Families.  In that role, she represents foreign-born victims of domestic violence, trafficking and gender violence in immigration matters, and helps to lead advocacy efforts to address the concerns of immigrant survivors of these forms of violence. Her previous experience includes serving as Senior Immigration Attorney at Her Justice (formerly inMotion), teaching immigration law in the Continuing Education program at Queens College, and serving as a long-term volunteer at the Immigrant Defense Project. Carmen, a former Equal Justice Works Fellow, has published articles in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Practitioner Toolbox and routinely trains on immigration-related issues.  Ms. Rey is a graduate of New York University and Brooklyn Law School.


Catherine L. Haight is the founding member of Haight Law Group, PLC in Los Angeles, California.  She has been practicing immigration law since 1989, specializing in business, entertainment, and sports related cases.  Ms. Haight obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law.  She has authored numerous published articles on such subjects as PERM, H-1B visas, L-1 visas, and the immigration consequences of business mergers and acquisitions.  She has been the invited speaker at numerous conferences and seminars on such subjects as business, sports, and entertainment visas, legal ethics, and employer sanctions law.  She has also served on many national immigration lawyer committees that liaise closely with government agencies.


Charles H. (“Chuck”) Kuck is the Managing Attorney at Kuck Baxter Immigration Partners LLC in Atlanta, Georgia.  Chuck served as the National President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association from 2008-2009.  He also served as President of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Emory Law School.  He was named one of the top 5 immigration attorneys in the world by Chambers & Partners again in 2017, the “Best Lawyer-Immigration in Georgia by Best Lawyers in 2017, and was previously named one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine.  He has practiced immigration law for 28 years, has spoken to numerous legal and business conferences on all types of immigration related topics, has testified in Congress on various aspects of Immigration Law and Immigration Reform, is frequently quoted in the national press, and appears regularly on national and local television and cable news outlets.


Jacqueline Wolff is a partner and Co-chair of the Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense Group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.  A former Federal prosecutor, Ms. Wolff has spent over twenty-five years successfully representing companies – from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups – and their corporate officers, in government investigations, including immigration cases relating to allegations of knowingly hiring unauthorized workers.  She serves on the Editorial Board for the Business Crimes Bulletin, the Advisory Board for White Collar Law 360, and Bloomberg BNA’s Pharmaceutical Law & Industry Report.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the New York Council of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Ms. Wolff can be contacted by e-mail at jwolff@manatt.com, and by telephone at (212) 790-4620.


Kathleen Campbell Walker is a former national president of (2007-08) and general counsel (2009-10) to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) www.aila.com. She is a member of the Dickinson Wright PLLC law firm headquartered in Detroit. She practices from the El Paso, Texas office. In 2014, Ms. Walker received the AILA Founder's Award which is given from time to time to the person or entity having the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy. In 2012, she was selected by Texas Lawyer as its top "Go-To" Lawyer in Texas in immigration law. Board certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she was selected to serve on the Council of Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was co-chaired by former Governor Jeb Bush. She has testified multiple times before Congress and at the state level in Texas regarding immigration policy and law.


Mark R. von Sternberg is a Senior Attorney with Catholic Charities Community Services/Archdiocese of New York where he concentrates on litigation before the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Mr. von Sternberg serves as an adjunct faculty member at Pace University School of Law where he teaches general immigration and comparative refugee law; he is also an adjunct faculty member at St. John’s University School of Law where he teaches an immigrant and refugee rights clinic. Mr. von Sternberg received a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1973 and an LL.M. degree (in International Legal Studies) from New York University School of Law in 1984. He has lectured at law schools and at professional associations regarding immigration matters and has written extensively, particularly in the areas of refugee law, international humanitarian law, and human rights. Mr. von Sternberg is the author of an internationally recognized treatise regarding the refugee definition as applied in the United States and Canada. In 2002, he received the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Award. Mr. von Sternberg is a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Immigration and Naturalization Committee and of the New York City Bar Association’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee. Mr. von Sternberg has served as an active participant in significant international conferences regarding asylum such as the Refugee Rights and Realities Conference in Nottingham, England and, more recently (September 2012), the UNHCR's Expert Roundtable on "International Protection for Persons Fleeing Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence" in Cape Town, South Africa.


Michelle N. Mendez is a managing attorney for Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) in its Training and Legal Support section, where manages the Defending Vulnerable Populations Project. Before CLINIC, Ms. Mendez served as senior managing attorney in the Immigration Legal Services Program at Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C., where she began her career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by DLA Piper. From 2013 to 2016, she co-taught the Immigration Litigation Clinic at Catholic University Columbus School of Law and served as a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and as an Adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law this past spring.

Ms. Mendez was selected to receive the 2015 American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award, in part because of her leadership on Maryland’s special immigrant juvenile status law; the Rotary International Paul Harris Award in 2014, for her commitment to helping others through volunteerism and service; as one of twenty-five “Women to Watch in 2017” by The Baltimore Sun, for providing pro bono representation to immigrants and asylum seekers, and training lawyers nationwide on contesting deportations and representing the immigrant client; and as one of the “Very Important Professionals Successful by 40” by Maryland’s Daily Record in 2014, for her contributions to her community and the law and “commitment to inspiring change.” The Maryland Francis King Carey Law School recently selected her for the 2018 Rising Star Award for exemplary contributions of service and leadership.

Ms. Mendez received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, her B.A. from the University of Richmond, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, and a Professional Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution through the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Originally from Medellín, Colombia, she is a native Spanish speaker, speaks French fluently, and has taken Arabic language courses.


Sarah K. Peterson is the founder of SPS Immigration PLLC based in Minneapolis, MN. Her employment-based practice focuses on physicians, academia, start-ups, and high-tech companies. Sarah actively participates in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) on both a local and national level. She currently serves as Chair of AILA’s DOL liaison committee and has been an active Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors since 2012. Sarah has previously served on AILA national Liaison committees with the California and Nebraska USCIS Service Centers, Chaired AILA’s Healthcare Professionals Committee and served as a member for several years, and Chaired the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of AILA. Sarah serves on the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota’s (ILCM) Public Policy Committee since 2013. Sarah was recognized in 2016 and 2017 as one of 40 Up and Comers in Employment Law by HRE/Law Dragon, is listed in the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers since 2014, and was selected as one of Minnesota’s Lawyer’s Up and Coming Attorneys for 2010. She was a contributing author to AILA’s Business Immigration Law & Procedure, second edition, frequently speaks with the press, and travels internationally to speak on employment-based immigration. Sarah is scheduled to teach an advanced Immigration Law class at the University of Minnesota Law School in 2018. Sarah holds a joint law degree and master in public policy from the University of Minnesota Law School and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.


Vincent W. Lau is the managing partner of Clark Lau LLC in Cambridge, Massachusetts and he counsels employers and employees on a range of temporary and permanent immigration options.  He enjoys taking complex immigration legal concepts and breaking them down into tangible and comprehensible ideas for employers and employees.  It is with this same spirit that he speaks regularly at immigration conferences across the country, serves fellow immigration attorneys as one of the Vice Chairs of AILA’s national liaison committee with the U.S. Department of Labor, and developed the curriculum for the business immigration course at New England Law Boston.  Vince received his B.A., cum laude, in Political Science from Yale University, M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the Boston College School of Education, and J.D. from the Boston College School of Law.  Vince has been voted among “The Best Lawyers in America” since 2010 and listed with “Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Immigration” since 2015.


J.D. and M.A., University of California, Berkeley.  Mr. Kurzban is a partner in the law firm of Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A., of Miami, Florida.  He is a past-national President and former General Counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. He has litigated over fifty federal cases concerning the rights of aliens, including Jean v. Nelson, Commissioner v. Jean, and McNary v. Haitian Refugee Center, Inc., which he argued before the United States Supreme Court.  Mr. Kurzban is an adjunct faculty member in Immigration and Nationality Law at the University of Miami School of Law. He is the author of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook, the most widely used one-volume immigration source in the United States and he has lectured and otherwise published extensively in the field of immigration law, including articles in the Harvard Law Review and Columbia University Press.