The 2020 AILIA Conference was a bit different this year, as it was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference brought together immigration law practitioners for four full days of innovation, education, and inspiration in a series of events and programs. Below are some of the key takeaways from the 2020 AILA conference for those who did not attend, or who may have missed some of the most exciting sessions.
2020 AILA Annual Conference Key Takeaways
The first day, Senator Tim Kaine delivered a keynote speech outlining how he himself came from an immigrant family. Senator Kaine has played a role in many of the immigration bills, with the most notable being the 2018 DACA reform bill. Senator Kaine’s keynote speech focused on globalists and nationalists, and the different approaches they use in problem-solving, fiscal policies, the pandemic, and more. He also touched on the new USCIS updates for green cards.
Much of the second day of the 2020 AILA conference focused on current RFE and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) trends with immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Day two was also particularly helpful for immigration lawyers who work with foreign nationals from Canada and Mexico who are employed in the United States. The changes that have already been made within the Department of Labor, as well as anticipated changes, were examined to determine the impact they may have on labor certification programs, such as updates to PERM-related systems.
Day three of the 2020 AILA conference was a deep dive into particular social groups, such as victims of domestic violence, who seek asylum status in the United States. During this session, the current law surrounding particular social groups was examined, as well as strategies immigration lawyers can use when working on these asylum claims to give them the best chance of success. Another important session during day three provided an overview of the different types of legal actions brought to federal court. This session shone a light on what lawyers and their clients could expect from the government when taking cases to federal court.
Day four of the 2020 AILA conference was an open forum with the U.S. Department of State, which is the agency that is responsible for implementing the President’s foreign policy. During this session, immigration lawyers and their clients asked the Department of State important questions, such as whether a foreign national with a valid visa could leave and re-enter the country. The Department of State said during this session that foreign nationals are exempt from the proclamation on the suspension of entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants. These individuals can re-enter the country as long as they have a valid visa, although leaving the country still comes with certain risks.
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