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Basic Immigration Law 2019

Speaker(s): Amy C. Cococcia, Avram E. Morell, Cyrus D. Mehta, David Grunblatt, Deborah J. Notkin, Jun H. Lee, Karin Wolman, Linda Kenepaske, Lindsay A. Curcio, Marko C. Maglich, Noemi E. Masliah, Robert E. Juceam, Thomas E. Moseley, Timothy Houghton, Victoria Neilson
Recorded on: Feb. 7, 2019
PLI Program #: 251476

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.

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. 

Lindsay A. Curcio is a solo practitioner. Her practice includes employment-based and family-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visas as well as waivers, removal defense, U.S. citizenship issues and naturalization. She has taught as an adjunct professor at New York Law School and Molloy College. She is a co-author of Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Strategies (LexisNexis/Carolina Academic Press). Lindsay has received the Super Lawyers Immigration, Metro New York designation. Lindsay has a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Northwestern University, a juris doctor degree from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law, an MBA (concentration in marketing with international business designation) from Fordham University an LLM in Transnational Commercial Practice at the Center for International Legal Studies/Lazarski University and a graduate certificate in health care compliance from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. She also is an actress and a writer of short stories.

Graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University majoring in Government and concentration in International Relations. Graduated with a J.D. from Syracuse University School of Law.

I have been a Staff Attorney with the DDC since 2001. I am presently a Principal Staff Attorney investigating and prosecuting professional misconduct by attorneys in the First Department where allegations vary from neglect of legal matters to escrow violations. In addition, I have been designated to head up the investigation of attorneys practicing in the area of immigration law, who engaged in professional misconduct. I am a member of the Katzman Study Group as well as a member of the Protecting Immigrants New York Task Force.

Timothy Houghton serves Deputy District Director for the New York District since December of 2015

Background Experience

Mr. Houghton has over 20 years of government service which began with legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at the Garden City Office of the New York District in 1998.  He has his   held a variety of positions In United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

He began his federal service as a District Adjudications Officer at the Garden City Office of the New York District. In 2004, Mr. Houghton later became a Supervisory District Adjudication Officer in the Naturalization Unit. In 2007, he was assigned to the Adjustment of Status Unit where he served as supervisor until May 2009. In 2008, Mr. Houghton received the Federal Executive Board Award as Supervisor of the year for his work in the Naturalization Unit by organizing a more efficient manner to receive documents from customers. In May 2009, he became a Supervisor for the Newark District Office in the Adjustment of Status Unit where he served in that position until March 2010. In March 2010, Mr. Houghton was selected by New York District to serve as Section Manager for Adjudications 2. The Adjudication 2 Unit adjudicated multiple immigration applications and adhered to the Stokes Agreement.  In January of 2011, he was assigned as Section Manager for the Naturalization Unit. Mr. Houghton received the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; Distinguished Government Service Award on May 11, 2012. In May 2012, Mr. Houghton was selected as Field Office Director for the New York Queens Field office. In May 2014, Mr. Houghton was selected as the Field Office Director of New York Field office where he served until his recent appointment as the Deputy District Director in December 2015. Mr. Houghton received the Manager/Supervisor of the Year in 2017

Avram Morell is a member of Pryor Cashman’s Immigration Law Group. His experience includes a wide range of areas of immigration and nationality law, including counseling employers in the hiring of foreign employees, representing entrepreneurs and investors seeking permission to live and work in the United States, obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant visas for professionals in a variety of industries, advising employers on all areas of immigration compliance, guiding individuals through the permanent residence and naturalization application processes, developing corporate immigration policies, and creating global mobility guidelines and procedures.

Mr. Morell is ranked among the leading immigration lawyers by Chambers USA and US Legal 500 and lectures regularly on immigration law to professional associations, educational institutes, and private businesses. He is the author of articles on areas of immigration law in state-wide, national and international publications and has contributed to Immigration Law and Procedure, the leading treatise on immigration law. Mr. Morell has also served in key capacities for the American Immigration Lawyers Association on the national Department of State Liaison Committee, the national Verification and Worksite Enforcement Liaison Committee, the Liaison Committee to the New York District Office of USCIS, and the Liaison Committee to Customs and Border Protection in New York and New Jersey.  

Mr. Morell is a 1993 graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was a Samuel Belkin Scholar.

David Grunblatt is a Partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, heading its Immigration Practice Group and is an authority on employer immigration compliance and employment-based immigration benefits.  He served as Chair of the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and of its Vermont Service Center Liaison Committee.  He was formerly Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law and was Chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law at the New York County Lawyers Association.  He lectures and writes extensively on the subject of Immigration and Nationality Law.

Deborah J. Notkin is a partner in the firm of Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP and maintains a large international immigration and nationality practice.  During her 25 years in practice, she has acquired a nationally recognized expertise in business immigration matters. Ms. Notkin is the lead attorney at Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP for the PERM Unit and maintains a corporate client base spanning all business immigration matters.

She is a past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), 2005-2006 and serves on its Board of Governors. Within AILA, she has held numerous leadership positions including Chair of the National Labor Liaison Committee, Chair of the Vermont Service Center Committee, Chair of AILA’s Interagency Committee and New York Chapter Chair.  She served  also as the Co-chair of the New York Chapter Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

For the past seven years, Human Resource Executive has named Ms. Notkin one of the 20 most powerful business immigration attorneys in the U.S.  In June 2010, Ms. Notkin received the American Immigration Lawyers Media Award for her work in advocating for reasonable immigration laws.  She is listed in Best Lawyers in America; the International Who is Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, and Chambers USA as recommended immigration counsel.  New York Super Lawyers has listed her as one of the top immigration attorneys in New York and one of the overall top women attorneys in New York City.

Deborah has served as the Chair of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee and on AILA’s Labor Liaison Committee.  As an advocate for positive immigration reform, Deborah Notkin has appeared on many television and radio programs and has addressed many religious and business organizations. She remains a resource and occasional commentator for MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News regarding immigration legislation and related issues.

A noted expert in business immigration she has been a lecturer for many years at the Practicing Law Institute’s (PLI) annual Immigration Law Institute, PLI’s Basics Seminar, the New York State Bar Association’s bi-annual immigration seminar and AILA’s Annual and regional conferences. She has also been a presenter at many different venues including the American Council of International Personnel (ACIP), the Pacific Chapter and New York Chapter of the US Mexico Chamber of Commerce and the Global Independence Organization.

Karin Wolman is Principal of the Law Office of Karin Wolman, PLLC, serving businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations and individuals, across industries from healthcare and the sciences, academia, finance and technology, to the performing arts and entertainment, fine and graphic arts and new media, culinary arts, fashion and beauty, architecture and design. Ms. Wolman is a frequent speaker at local and national conferences on topics in immigration law ranging from aliens of extraordinary ability to naturalization, for organizations including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Practising Law Institute, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and New York State Bar Association. Ms. Wolman has been recognized among the top 5% of attorneys in the New York Metro area by SuperLawyers, and has a 10/10 “Superb” rating on Avvo. A graduate of Columbia University and UCLA School of Law, she worked at the Brooklyn Academy of Music when the O & P visa categories were first introduced. She has served since 2002 as moderator of the AILA InfoNet forum on O & P visas, as well as other forums, and numerous local committees for the New York chapter of AILA.

Noemi E. Masliah is the principal of The Masliah Firm PC in New York City. She has been engaged exclusively in the practice of immigration law since 1980 and has spoken and written frequently on a broad range of immigration topics. Her practice covers all categories of employment-based cases for both temporary and permanent visas. She also represents individuals in family-based immigration matters and citizenship applications. She has received several community awards for her activism in immigration reform, specifically in connection with the discriminatory impact of the US immigration laws on the LGBT community.  She served on Lambda Legal’s Board of Directors for many years. Ms. Masliah was a co-founder of Immigration Equality. Most recently, she has been involved in the sanctuary movement. A long-time and active member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, Ms. Masliah served as a Trustee of the American Immigration Council.

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

Thomas E. Moseley practices immigration law in Newark, New Jersey concentrating in federal court litigation and removal defense. He received his A.B. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School and previously served as Chief of the Immigration Unit in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He is a past chair of the Immigration Section of the Federal Bar Association and has lectured on immigration before the Federal Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, and American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”). He has been chosen to receive AILA’s  2016 Jack Wasserman award for excellence in immigration litigation.

Amy Cococcia is a Partner at the New York office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP where she has practiced immigration law for more than 20 years. Amy currently leads worldwide engagements for multinational financial and technology companies.

In 2015, Amy was on a short-term assignment at the firm’s Singapore and Malaysia offices, where she was instrumental in the opening and development of Fragomen’s office in Kuala Lumpur. Amy has extensive experience representing both individual and corporate clients in a wide variety of immigration matters (e.g., complex citizenship and naturalization, employer sanctions and I-9 compliance issues).

Amy is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, a Board Member of the Tufts Lawyers Association and a member of several industry associations, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Foreign Law Association and the Federal Bar Council. She holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from Tufts University. Amy was listed in Best Lawyers in America from 2017 to 2019, and Super Lawyers from 2013 to 2018. 

Marko C. Maglich is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Mr. Maglich practices immigration law exclusively, and is a member of the firm’s Immigration practice group. The practice deals with all aspects of business-related visas, compliance by employers and individuals with U.S. immigration law (including in M&A transactions and workplace enforcement), and proceedings before the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Labor.  His practice includes family-based immigration, and removal and admissibility issues on criminal and other grounds.  Having formerly practiced in the area of trusts and estates, Mr. Maglich regularly handles the immigration aspect of tax and immigration planning for high net worth families and individuals.  Mr. Maglich also leverages a network of practitioners around the world to co-ordinate "outbound" (non-U.S.) Immigration for Jackson Lewis and its clients.

Mr. Maglich has been a speaker, author, and teacher on immigration topics for organizations and schools including Human Rights First, the Practising Law Institute (PLI), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the New York State Society of CPAs.  Mr. Maglich earned his J.D. at Fordham University School of Law in 1999, his A.B. from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Diploma from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).  He is admitted to practice in New York State and Federally in the Southern District of New York.

Victoria Neilson is managing attorney of the Defending Vulnerable Populations Program at Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). She is the former legal director of Immigrant Justice Corps and Immigration Equality, where her practice focused on the intersection of LGBT issues and immigration law.  Ms. Neilson has also worked for the Office of Chief Counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the New York Asylum Office and is the former legal director of the HIV Law Project. She has taught as an adjunct professor at City University of New York School of Law and at New York University School of Law.  She is the current chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association; the former co-chair of the Ethics Committee of the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); and a member of AILA’s national Asylum Committee.  She is a co-author of AILA’s Representing Clients in Immigration Court. Ms. Neilson received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law and her B.A. from Harvard University.