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Business Immigration Under the Trump Administration: Be Ready for Changes and Enforcement

Speaker(s): Parisa Karaahmet, Paull Hejinian, R. Blake Chisam
Recorded on: Apr. 6, 2017
PLI Program #: 212493

Parisa is a Partner at Fragomen’s New York office, where she leads a team that focuses on individual and complex immigration matters and manages corporate accounts. Parisa also is a member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee.

On the corporate compliance advisory group side, Parisa represents a variety of large, mid-size and smaller companies in their immigration matters, including those in the financial services, medical, pharmaceutical, academic, retail and technology sectors.

Prior to joining Fragomen, Parisa served as an Assistant District Counsel and Acting Deputy District Counsel for the Immigration & Naturalization Service, New York District.

Parisa has provided immigration advice and guidance on a pro bono basis to a number of organizations and individuals, including Human Rights First and DACA recipients, among others.

Parisa also speaks at international and national conferences on a variety of immigration topics, including those sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA), Practising Law Institute (PLI), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), IIUSA (Invest in the USA) and EB5 Investors Magazine.

Parisa speaks English, Farsi, and French.

R. Blake Chisam is Fragomen’s Chief Audit and Privacy Officer. In this role, Blake oversees the firm's audit and risk management activities, as well as the firm's privacy program. Resident to the firm’s Houston office, Blake’s practice focuses on risk management and compliance, along with government strategies.

Blake was previously senior counsel to the immigration subcommittee for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, where he worked on policy and oversight issues related to employment-based immigration, international law, border security, immigration enforcement, refugee issues, naturalization and citizenship. In addition to his former role with the House Judiciary Committee, Blake served as Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics Committee) from 2009-2011, and counsel to the Ethics Committee Chair and Senior Policy Advisor to Representative Zoe Lofgren in 2009. During his tenure, Blake directed an unprecedented number of complex Congressional ethics investigations and served as lead counsel in high-profile House ethics disciplinary hearings.

Prior to his government service, Blake practiced immigration and nationality law in the private sector. His practice focused on advising organizations with respect to immigration-related policy, employment issues and other related matters. Blake is a sought-after speaker and guest lecturer and has published many commentaries on immigration law including a book, Immigration Practice, which he co-authored. In 2000, he was awarded the Meritorious Public Service Award by former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Representative Experience
Directed scores of Congressional investigations and oversight hearings on wide range of topics, including employment-based immigration, global immigration, federal claims processes, and ethics 

Negotiated and drafted complex legislation

Advised Members of Congress on immigration and other policy matters

Litigated complex cases before state, federal and administrative tribunals 


Temple University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1994

Auburn University
Bachelor of Arts, 1991, summa cum laude

University of Alabama
Bachelor of Arts Studies , 1988

Professional Accomplishments / Memberships

Bar Admissions: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland

Court Admissions: U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Court Admissions: U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma

Member, American Bar Association

Publications and Lectures

Guest Lecturer, Temple University Beasley School of Law (2011).

Contributing Editor, Immigration Practice (Juris Publishing 2008, 2009, 2010).

Author (with Robert C. Divine), Immigration Practice (Juris Publishing 2005, 2006).

Author, “BALCA’s Health America Decision Doesn’t Go Far Enough” (2006).

Author, “Ethics: What Do You Do When A Qualified U.S. Worker Applies?” (2006).

Author (with Ana Avendano), Immigration Issues in the Workplace, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Labor Law Series (2005).

Author, “Civil & Criminal Federal Case Update” (2005).

Author, “Writing and the REAL ID” (2005).

Author, “H-1B Myths and Realities,” American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2004-2005 Annual Handbook (2004).

Author, “PERM Practice Advisory” (2004).

Author, DSN Retailing Today, “The Time is Right to Reform Immigration” (2004).

Author, PHJW Client Alerts, including “Key Immigration Compliance Decisions” (2002) and “The New Anti-Terrorism Act: Consequences for U.S. and Foreign Corporations” (2001).

Author, “The Right to Asylum and Need for Legal Representation of People with Mental Disabilities in Immigration Proceedings,” Mental & Physical Disability Law Reporter, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 511-516 (July/Aug. 2001).

Author, ALI-ABA Study Materials, “Temporary Work Authorization for Specialty Occupation Workers (H-1B),” “L-1 Intracompany Transfers of Managers, Executives and Employees with Specialized Knowledge,” and “Admission of Professionals Under NAFTA” (2001).

Presenter, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law and NYU Annual Survey of American Law Spring 2011 Symposium, “Policing, Regulating and Prosecuting Corruption” (2011).

Presenter, 41st Annual Immigration & Naturalization Institute, Practicing Law Institute (2008).

Presenter, 25th Annual Legislative & Regulatory Roundtable, Electronic Industries Alliance (2007).

Presenter, AILA Teleconference, “Help Me Help Myself: Why Managing your Practice Well is the ‘Right’ Thing as Well as the ‘Smart’ Thing To Do” (2007).

Presenter, AILA Teleconference, “Employment Law for Immigration Lawyers” (2007).

Presenter, American Bar Association, “Immigration Issues in the Workplace” (2005).

Presenter, American Bar Association, “On the Fulcrum: Managing Migration and Protecting ‘U.S. Workers’ in the Real World Under Immigration and Employment Laws” (2005).

Moderator and Presenter, Immigration Lawyers on the Web, “The REAL ID Act of 2005” (2005).

Presenter, Immigration Lawyers on the Web, “PERM: An Up-to-the-Minute Course” (2005).

Presenter, AILA Annual Conference, “Labor & Employment Law FAQs” (2005).

Presenter, AILA Annual Conference, “H-1B Myths and Realities” (2004).

Presenter, Human Resources Professionals Update, “Immigration Compliance Issues” (2004).

Presenter, Nuts and Bolts of Immigration Law, “Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications” and “Removal Proceedings and Defense” (2004).

Presenter, Society for Philosophy and Geography, “Sentries at the Gates: The Politics of Global Migration Control” (2004).

Presenter, Alabama Self Insurers Association, “Immigration Issues in the Workplace” (2004).

Presenter, State of Georgia, Department of Human Resources, Refugee Program Conference, “Immigration Compliance: Exploring the Intersections of Immigration and Employment Law” (2003).

Presenter, Emerging Issues in Immigration & Employment Law, “Is There Life After INS?” (2003).

Presenter, Emerging Issues in Immigration & Employment Law, “Intersections of Immigration and Employment Law” (2003).

Presenter, Emerging Issues in Immigration & Employment Law, “Impact of 9/11/2001” (2002).

Presenter, National Alliance for Multicultural Mental Health Annual Conference, “Immigration Proceedings & the Mentally Disabled” (2002).

Presenter, AILA Teleconference, “H-1Bs - Documenting Degree and Degree Equivalency and Specialty Occupations” (2002).

Presenter, ABA Annual Conference, “Immigration Detention: Perversities and Prospects” (2001).

Presenter, ALI/ABA Conference on Immigration Law, “Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications” (2001).

Presenter, Detention Watch Network Conference, “Advanced Topics on Immigration Relief” and “New Developments in Asylum Law” (2001).

Presenter, York County Bar Association CLE Program, “At the Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law: Issues, Developments & Strategies” (1998).


Director’s Award for Meritorious Public Service, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (2001)

Paull is the managing partner of the firm's office in San Francisco. He joined Fragomen in New York in 1994 and has also worked for the firm in Mexico City and Boston.

Paull manages immigration programs for employers of all kinds, ranging from large financial firms to small software start-ups. He represents some of San Francisco’s most prominent businesses, including financial services, retail and consumer goods, and software companies.

He also works closely with venture capital firms and corporate attorneys in the Bay Area in helping the founders of new companies qualify for visas to make significant financial and intellectual contributions to the economy, and to create on-going immigration procedures as these companies grow.

Representative Experience

Advised a multinational engineering systems company on how to reduce their liabilities when acquiring a smaller company with many foreign national employees and whose prior counsel had not properly advised them on immigration compliance

Obtained an O-1 approval under great time pressure for a citizen of Singapore offered the position of Chief Executive Officer of a public technology company

Developed a comprehensive immigration policy for a large retail and consumer goods chain, with the goal of improving recruiting and retention of foreign nationals while also reducing the costs and administrative burden of immigration sponsorship

Worked with the foreign-born founder of a start-up U.S. company to obtain an investor visa, and then developed an immigration strategy for the firm as it grew to almost 100 employees, including many highly skilled foreign workers


Georgetown University Law Center
Juris Doctor, 1993

Harvard University
Bachelor of Arts, 1987
Professional Accomplishments / Memberships

Bar Admissions: California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (Northern California Chapter)

Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, State Bar of California

Publications and Lectures

Frequent speaker before organizations, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Northern California Human Resources Association (San Francisco).

Author of articles on business immigration published in the AILA Conference Handbook, International Tax Notes, the PERM Handbook, and others.


Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2013 to 2017

Named “Lawyer of the Year” for Immigration Law, San Francisco by Best Lawyers, 2016