Attention:

Immigration Court Proceedings 101


Level: Beginner
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: June 17, 2020
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Agenda

  • Become familiar with general sources of substantive Immigration Law 
  • Identify and distinguish between various types of Immigration Court proceedings 
  • Explain the general rules of the Immigration Court 
  • Understand practitioner and Immigration Court logistics 
  • Develop tools to prepare to represent individuals before the Immigration Court
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Recorded: June 16, 2020

Description

Stepping into any unfamiliar court setting can be an unsettling experience for any practitioner, especially when you are new to the practice of immigration law. This presentation will help you learn what to expect before even stepping foot into the courtroom.

Panelists break down the basics of Immigration Court proceedings. National experts outline the sources of substantive law, identify the most common types of Immigration Court proceedings, and explain the general rules of the court. Immigration Courts use special dockets to group similar cases and the panelists will explain how their processes differ in terms of the demand on the practitioner.

This program was recorded on June 17th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association

Panelists

Hon. Mimi E. Tsankov

Judge, New York Immigration Court
U.S. Department of Justice

The Honorable Mimi E. Tsankov (personal capacity) has served as an immigration judge with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, since 2006, where she has presided over detained and nondetained dockets at the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Denver Immigration Court, and the New York Immigration Court. She has served as Pro Bono Liaison Judge at the Denver and Los Angeles Immigration Courts and has been a contributing editor of the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Judge Bench Book. A frequent panelist at regional, national, and international law conferences, Judge Tsankov has presented on a wide variety of immigration law topics, ranging from mental competency and juvenile docket hearings, to ethics, professional responsibility, and “crimmigration” matters. She has published articles in the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Law Advisor, the Federal Lawyer Magazine, and various academic law journals on topics ranging from 287(g) law enforcement to immigration benefits for victims of domestic violence in the United States and the European Union. Judge Tsankov established and chaired the Colorado Federal Attorney Pro Bono Program and served on the Colorado Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession.

In her personal capacity, she has served as an officer with the FBA Colorado Chapter, the FBA Immigration Law Section, and the FBA International Law Section, having been recognized nationally in this regard. She is a member of the National Association of Women Judges, Human Rights Subcommittee, and the American Bar Association, National Conference of the Administrative Law Judiciary. She has taught immigration law as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and the University of Colorado, School of Law. She holds a J.D.-M.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

Christina Fiflis

Principal
Fiflis Law, LLC

Christina Fiflis advises clients on removal defense, family-based immigration matters, consular processing, applications for lawful permanent residence, and citizenship and naturalization. Her firm, Fiflis Law LLC, has offices in Denver and Boulder, Colorado.

Ms. Fiflis is past Chairperson of the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration. She was an appointed member of the Commission and its Advisory Committee beginning in 2006, she served as the inaugural Co-Chair of the ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Minors, is a former Chair of the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and co-chair of the Immigration Section of the Boulder County Bar Association. She taught Immigration and Citizenship Law as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Colorado School of Law, frequently speaks to community groups about immigration issues and conducts trainings of pro bono counsel for representation of adult and child clients in immigration court proceedings. Ms. Fiflis also serves as an expert witness for the prosecution in cases involving undocumented crime victims.

She is committed to pro bono and community volunteer work, particularly regarding consumer protection and education matters pertaining to retention of immigration legal services. She served on the Advisory Board to the Colorado DACA Support Project and on the Boulder County Bar Access to Legal Services Committee.

Ms. Fiflis earned her B.A. from Scripps College, Claremont , California and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Ms. Fiflis is a Boulder County Bar and American Bar Foundation Fellow and for more than 25 years has received the highest accorded “AV” Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating. She is admitted to practice in Colorado.

Camila Palmer

Partner
Elkind Alterman Harston, PC

Camila joined EAH in October 2011, after completing a two year clerkship with the Denver Immigration Court, through the Attorney General's Honors Program. Prior to working at the Immigration Court, Camila was a staff attorney at The Door's Legal Services Center in New York City, where she represented immigrant youth before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, as well as in New York State family courts.

She conducted trainings on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and provided mentorship to attorneys representing immigrant youth throughout New York State. She further facilitated access to education and health care for undocumented youth in the city. Camila earned her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 2007, where she completed externships with the employment unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, with the Immigrant Defense Project in New York City, and with the U.S. District Court for the Federal District of Puerto Rico. Before entering law school, Camila taught high school Spanish in Washington, DC, was as an immigration paralegal at Ayuda, Inc. and worked on refugee resettlement issues for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Camila received her bachelor's degree from Middlebury College in 1998 and is fluent in Spanish. She is admitted to the New York Bar and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Camila currently chairs the AILA-EOIR Liaison Committee and is an active mentor to Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network's pro bono counsel.

Lisa Green

Adjunct Faculty
University of Colorado Law School

Lisa's career in immigration law began back in 1984 when she was awarded a full scholarship to the Urban Morgan Institute for International Human Rights at the University of Cincinnati of Law. Serving as a staff editor of the Human Rights Quarterly, Lisa reviewed manuscripts from leading human rights attorneys and academics from all over the world. She also had an opportunity to attend seminars and international conferences on human rights law.

After graduating in the top ten percent of her class, Lisa clerked for a judge in Boulder, Colorado. From 1987 to 1990, she taught at Suffolk Law School in Boston, Massachusetts where she also worked with an organization aiding asylum seekers from El Salvador and Guatemala. Thereafter, Lisa joined the law firm of Stern and Elkind in Denver where she specialized in immigration law from 1990 until 2006. During that time, Lisa set up the pro bono legal department at the Rocky Mountain Survivor's Center and was instrumental in starting the Young Lawyers Division of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, where she has been a member since 1990.

Lisa opened her own firm in Boulder, Colorado in October 2006 and continues to specialize and limit her practice to immigration law. She is also an adjunct professor of law at University of Colorado Law School where she has been teaching asylum and refugee law since 2011. Lisa is co-founder of the Colorado Asylum Project and serves as a mentor attorney for that organization as well as the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network. Lisa has served on the AILA National Asylum and Refugee Committee since 2013. She has held positions including Member, Vice-Chair, and Co-Chair. Lisa is also a member of Colorado AILA where she has served on the Asylum Committee since its inception. She is currently a member of the Houston Asylum Office Liaison. Additionally, Lisa has lectured on various areas of immigration law throughout the United States.

Elizabeth "Betty" Stevens

Attorney
Poarch Thompson Law

In 2018, Elizabeth “Betty” Stevens agreed to join Poarch Thompson Law in an of counsel capacity. Betty brings with her expertise in citizenship law, immigration agency processes, immigration detention, and litigation of immigration-related issues in the U.S. Court system.

Ms. Stevens received her J.D. magna cum laude from George Mason School of Law in 2001, and a B.S. in the Arabic Languages from Georgetown University. Ms. Stevens is an active member of the Federal Bar Association, and currently serves as Chair of the FBA’s Immigration Law Section.


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