2022 AILA Conference, Day 2: Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways AILA Conference 2022, Day 2

Categories: Resources
Published: June 23, 2022

Tags: AILA

2022 AILA Conference, Day 2 Key Takeaways:

In this video attorney Joseph Tsang covers the key takeaways from the AILA conference 2022, day 2. You’ll learn the benefits of the AILA organization and how they are helping attorneys and law firms to provide the best service possible for their clients. You’ll also learn about important notices from CBP and updates on 3-year and 10-year bans. In addition, you’ll gain insight into how AILA is assisting the government in case processing, especially now as cases are transferred from the immigration courts to USCIS. And finally, learn more about what’s been happening and what’s coming for I9 compliance.

Watch the full video to learn more.

Full Video Transcript

So the last video was about what USCIS is going to do to turn things around. Benjamin Johnson, the executive director of AILA started this session by saying, “Let’s assume Congress doesn’t do anything, and let’s assume USCIS cannot do anything. What are we going to do? This session the panelists include some of the key figures of AILA that have been leading the organization for an extremely long time and their advice to everybody else on how to navigate this immigration world.

If you are just a lawyer with a client and you’re trying to figure out how to solve the client’s problem, you very much might feel alone, and there are so many complications and all these changing policies. The only answer you can give your clients is, “Well, I don’t know, it depends, it’s all in the air,” and that’s not very comforting. But luckily, we have an organization like AILA that I’m so proud to be a part of. AILA, from this particular session, you can see the amount of resources that they are dedicating to help little you, little me, firms around the world to help their clients move immigration forward.

They have a dedicated team just to read through all the Supreme Court decisions, not just the decisions but also concurring opinions and dissenting opinions and look up their history to see what are the key takeaways so that we can use it in our own briefs when we argue with the courts or with USCIS. One of the key takeaways is that if somebody has a three-year or 10-year bar because of unlawful presence, the big question is, can you wait in the U.S. without having to be out of the U.S.? By the plain language of the law, you might assume a three-year to ten-year bar means you have to wait outside of the U.S. for that period of time and then you can apply for an application again without applying for a waiver. And if you want to come in sooner, then you have to apply for the waiver, right? Wrong. One of the key decisions this year is that you can stay in the U.S., wait out this period, and then apply, but of course, there are certain limitations that might apply, and you have to meet certain requirements but that’s a big idea that’s only gotten through the interpretation of what Congress originally meant through the courts. They have a dedicated team reading through these transcripts and providing this information to the rest of us.

They also have a team that collects all the key information and documents and memos that USCIS provides, that CBP provides, that the Department of State provides, and then they provide it all in one central place so you can download everything and use it for your clients. I mean how nice is that? They’re like Google but for immigration. It’s tremendously amazing, and they give out the AILA document numbers so that everybody can always reference them.

During the session, they provided so many of the key top documents that people need. For example, they shared a CBP memo that allows airlines to board personnel even though they have been out of the country for over a year. Right, so if you didn’t know, airlines get heavily penalized by CBP, by the U.S. government, and by the airport if they board people that they shouldn’t board. So what are you going to do as an airline? Of course, your not going to board anybody that even poses a minor risk because you’ll get penalized. And the penalty is not just fee and personnel where you have to return the person to their home country. The penalty is you lose the gate. You cannot continue to fly in and that is a death sentence for a lot of airlines. Well, CBP by issuing this statement is saying “don’t worry about it, we’re not going to penalize you, just bring them in” because of COVID and because of all these crazy things that have happened. Let us decide, we’re not going to penalize you. And, it’s huge. We’ve been providing this document to our clients for the past two years. We wouldn’t have gotten it if it wasn’t for AILA. So they provided a lot of good documents in this session.  

They also has a team that works with the immigration courts. And we know, 1.6 million cases are about to be transferred from the immigration courts to USCIS, and the nightmare that will cause for the courts as well as for USCIS. And so who do they ask for help? AILA is stepping up as a third-party organization to help the government process these cases. Isn’t that wonderful?

A lot of advice that we give and we want to help them is to help ICE directly close out cases that they haven’t even issued the NTA. We help write policy for them to advise them on what they should do to make things more efficient. The courts are focused on their court cases and their court dockets. They don’t have the time or the resources to hire McKinsey or Bain or any of these consulting companies to help them process. We do it essentially for free as AILA. All these top-notch attorneys writing opinions on how the government should process things faster. 

The last takeaway is what’s coming ahead with I9 compliance. We all know the I9 compliance when an employee gets hired by a company. You have to go through the basic HR steps and comply with the I9. 

But the truth is a lot of companies don’t. Major companies, huge companies don’t. Smaller companies definitely don’t. Even immigration attorneys don’t really understand it. So, the government is going to start auditing companies. Not fraud inspection, but auditing to see if you correctly collected the I9 identifications for immigrants and non-immigrants. And if you haven’t, well, then companies are fined. And we are already beginning to see the number of settlements between the company and the I9 audits go up every single month. So this is going to be a trend that continues to grow. AILA is encouraging all immigration practitioners to work closely with the HR departments of all companies to help them stay I9 compliant. 

I love AILA conferences. We have the open forums where we directly talk to the officers from different agencies. We also get to have these keynote addresses where we directly speak with the head honcho of every organization. We also have focus groups where the expert attorneys who deal with particular issues get to share their notes with everybody else who are encountering the same problem. And we’re not even halfway through day two. We still have two and a half days left. See you next session.