Round Table of Former Immigration Judges Receive AILA Advocacy Award

On June 21, the Round Table of Former Immigration Judges was presented with the 2019 Advocacy Award of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) at its Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.  Members have left the group for various reasons, including to return to the bench in senior status, but the following is a list of those former immigration judges and BIA Board members who have signed on to amicus briefs, letters, or statements since our inception in June 2017:

Steven Abrams

Patricia L. Buchanan

Sarah Burr

Esmerelda Cabrera

Teofilo Chapa

Jeffrey S. Chase

George T. Chew

Joan V. Churchill

Matthew D’Angelo

Bruce J. Einhorn

Cecelia M. Espenoza

Noel Ferris

John F. Gossart, Jr.

Miriam Hayward

Rebecca Jamil

William P. Joyce

Edward Kandler

Carol King

Eliza Klein

Elizabeth A. Lamb

Donn L. Livingston

Margaret McManus

Charles Pazar

George Proctor

Laura Ramirez

Lory D. Rosenberg

Susan Roy

Paul W. Schmidt

Denise Slavin

William Van Wyke

Gustavo D. Villageliu

Polly A. Webber

Robert D. Weisel

We thank all who nominated and selected us for the award.  

We owe a huge debt of gratitude and good fortune to the tireless efforts of those law firms and law school clinics that have assisted us in drafting brief after brief.  Our work would simply not be possible without their assistance.

The law firms are:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

White & Case LLP

WIlmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, LLP

And the law school clinics are:

Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC)

NYU Law School - Washington Square Legal Services, Inc. Immigrant Rights Clinic

Boston College Law School, Ninth Circuit Appellate Program

Texas A&M School of Law, Immigrant Rights Clinic

The Round Table of Former Immigration Judges was formed in June 2017 when seven former Immigration Judges and BIA Members united for an amicus brief in Matter of Negusie. In the two years since, the group has grown to more than 30 members, dedicated to the principle of due process for all. Its members have served as amici in cases before six different circuit courts, the Attorney General, and the BIA. The group has made its voice heard repeatedly in support of the rights of victims of domestic violence to asylum protection, and has also lent its arguments to the issue of children's need for counsel in removal proceedings, the impact of remote detention in limiting access to counsel, and the case against indefinite detention of immigrants. The Round Table of Former Immigration Judges has submitted written testimony to Congress and has released numerous press statements and a letter to EOIR’s director. Its individual members regularly participate in teaching, training, and press events.

Accepting the award at the ceremony in Orlando on behalf of our group were Cecelia Espenoza, Carol King, Lory Rosenberg, Susan Roy, Polly Webber, and myself.

As I stated in my acceptance remarks on behalf of our group, “we must all speak for those who have no voice, and must serve as the conscience in a time of amoral government actions.  Those whom we advocate for had the courage and strength to not only escape tragedy and make their way to this country, but once here, to continue to fight for their legal rights against a government that makes no secret of its disdain for their existence.  We owe it to them to use our knowledge and skills to aid them in this fight.”

Our congratulations to the other award winners.

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