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Trustees Emeriti

The Council expresses its deep gratitude to the following individuals who have served with distinction as past members of the American Immigration Council Board of Trustees and/or Board of Directors. We salute their leadership and continued commitment to building our foundation.

Peter Ashman (2006-2013)
Kelly McCown (2006-2012)
Jeff Joseph (2006 -2012)
Amy Novick (2006-2012)
Kristen Schlenger** (2001-2012)
James David Acoba (2000-2001)
Jonathan Avirom (1993-2001)
Roxana C. Bacon*** (2000-2005)
Lenni Beth Benson (2000-2004)
Daryl R. Buffenstein (1994-1997)
Jeanne A. Butterfield (2001-2008)
C. Lynn Calder (1997-2004)
Maria Isabel Casablanca (2004-2010)
Margaret A. Catillaz (1999-2001)
Anne Chandler (2006-2013)
Gerard M. Chapman (2001-2008)
Joseph E. Ching (1993-1996)
Steven A. Clark (1998-2001)
Robert Cohen (2004-2011)
Jules E. Coven
Linda A. Cristello (2000-2001)
Goldie C. Domingue (2000-2002)
Jenifer Eisen (1997-1999)
Phyllis Eisen (2000-2001)
Stephen K. Fischel (2005-2008)
Sarah Fortino-Brown (2004-2010)
Charles Foster (1993-2004)
Hope M. Frye (1992-1996)
Harry Gee, Jr. (1993-1995)
Jodi Goodwin (2004-2007)
Silvia Romo Graves (2001-2011)
Karen Grisez (2004-2011)
Matthew L. Hirsch (2006-2013)
Paul Hribernik (2000-2001)
Veronica M. Jeffers (2001-2002)
H. Ronald Klasko (1989-1990)
Charles H. Kuck (2007-2010)
Steven M. Ladik* (2000-2005)
MaryEllen Lannon (2008-2009)
Michelle L. Lazerow (2001-2007)
Ellen Ma Lee (1993-2004)
Michael Maggio (1993-2001)
Margaret H. McCormick* (1997-2004)
Cyrus D. Mehta** (1998-2005)
Nancy-Jo Merritt (1993-1995, 2008-2010)
Charles Miller (1995-1998)
Kathleen A. Moccio** (1998-2008)
Sheela Murthy (2002-2009)


Letter to the editor: by Mary Giovagnoli

Published on Fri, Jan 06, 2012

The POLITICO article “Obama: We Can’t Wait on Immigration” (Jan. 6) suggests that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announcement of streamlined processing for certain immigration waivers is part of a “war on GOP members of Congress.”

This is an unfortunate characterization of a long-overdue regulatory change. It is designed to correct a decade-long problem that has unnecessarily separated families and caused undue hardship to thousands of U.S. citizens and their loved ones.

The proposed rule would permit “in-country processing” of family unity waivers. This changes regulations that now require applicants to leave the country before they can apply for a waiver.

The current system has become increasingly burdensome, because of processing backlogs, uncertainty of outcomes and violence in key U.S. consulates, such as the one in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It creates unnecessary hardship for applicants who are eligible to receive a legal status but must first obtain a family unity waiver.

This waiver can now only be obtained abroad. But leaving the U.S. may trigger a bar of three years to 10 years if the applicant has been unlawfully present.

Many applicants fear that they might be permanently separated from their families and so never apply to become lawful permanent residents. Though applicants would still have to depart the U.S., under the new proposal they would do so knowing that their waiver had been provisionally approved — reducing waiting time and hardship for all.

All members of Congress — Republican or Democrat — have likely seen the compelling cases raised by the three year-to-10 year bar problem. Resolving it is not a partisan issue. It is instead an example of immigration service acting responsibly to address a problem of its own regulatory making.

Mary Giovagnoli

Published in the Politico

2010 Annual Immigrant Acheivement Awards Washington, DC

Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, American Immigration Council
Executive Director Ben Johnson introduces honorees
Cokie and Steven Roberts
Cokie Roberts and Steven Roberts kick off the evening
Creative Writing Contest Winner & Cokie Roberts
The national winner of "Celebrate America"  Creative Writing Contest receives her award from Cokie Roberts
Steven V. Roberts and Paul Zulkie
President of the Board of Trustees Paul Zulkie (R) and Steven V. Roberts

(L-R) Ben Johnson, Henry Cejudo, Julia Culbert, Cokie Roberts, Steveb Roberts

Immigration advocates march to support immigration reform

Published on Mon, Mar 12, 2012

Immigration advocates continue to march to oppose enforcement-only state laws, deportation proceeding and to support immigration reform measures.

The recent deportation proceedings against Miami student Daniela Pelaez and her sister have sparked outrage in South Florida, with thousands taking to the streets last week to protest.

Speaking on the Spanish-language news show Al Punto on Sunday, Pelaez told reporters that her lawyer had obtained a deferred action – a step that effectively halts deportation proceedings against her, and grants her two years to adjust her residency status in immigration court.

Congressman David Rivera, R-Florida, who met with Pelaez on the heels of the Miami protest, announced Friday that he would file the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status Act, or S.T.A.R.S. Act, which would allow undocumented immigrant youth who meet certain criteria to adjust their residency status.

But according to DRM Capitol, an organization that supports the DREAM Act, Rivera’s S.T.A.R.S. Act “is far from the more comprehensive DREAM Act that many undocumented youth organizations are fighting for.”

“This proposal is an orchestrated attempt to appeal to the important Latino voting block that will be critical to the 2012 elections,” adds DRM Capitol.

In its March/April issue, Mother Jones published its Immigration Hardliner Family Tree, a chart showing the links between organizations that support self-deportation or attrition through enforcement immigration policies and several GOP politicians, including Florida congressman Allen West.

GOP presidential candidates have said they support controversial immigration enforcement laws that currently exist in Alabama, Arizona and Georgia. Those candidates have also voiced their opposition to the DREAM Act, which polls show the majority of Latino voter support.Read more...

Published in the The Florida Independent

Thank You for Your Contribution!

Thank you for your support of the American Immigration Council. Your contribution will support our ongoing legal, policy, education and exchange programs.  

As an added thank you for your individual gift to the American Immigration Council, we are providing you this handy compilation of all our Legal Action Center’s current practice advisories. This convenient PDF document includes over 50 practice advisories with up-to-date information and suggested steps that attorneys can take to ensure the best outcomes for their clients in a range of circumstances and before the different immigration agencies and courts.

Download the Practice Advisories

Report: Biometric Data Being Collected with 'Little to No Standards, Oversight, or Transparency'

Published on Wed, May 23, 2012

A report released by the IPC was highlighted and summarized by Security Management: Read more...

Published in the Security Management

Carmen Lomas Garza

Carmen Lomas Garza was born in Texas. At the age of thirteen she made a commitment to pursue a career in art. Her narrative works of art depict childhood memories of family and friends engaged in a wide range of activities seen in Mexican American communities.

Ms. Garza has a Bachelor of Science from Texas A & I University (currently Texas A&M University, Kingsville) where she studied art education and studio art. She also has a Master of Education from Antioch Graduate School - Juarez/Lincoln Center and a Master of Art from San Francisco State University where she concentrated on painting and printmaking.

Ms. Garza has had several major one-person exhibitions in the United States including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden/Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Smith College Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts, and The Mexican Museum in San Francisco. In 1991 she had a one-person exhibition titled A Piece of My Heart/ Pedacito de mi Corazón at Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas that traveled to museums in El Paso, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Oakland, California. The San Jose Museum of Art organized a retrospective exhibition in 2001 that traveled to the San Antonio Museum of Art where is opened to record-breaking attendance. Ms. Garza’s artwork was the subject of an interactive exhibition for children organized by the Austin Children’s Museum in 2003 in Austin, Texas. The exhibition will travel for 5 years in the USA.Read more...

Deportations Are Up, But Is Anyone Applauding?

Published on Thu, Sep 13, 2012

Ben Winograd, an American Immigration Council staff attorney, was quoted in a KPBS article in which he explains government deportation-speak:  Read more...

Published in the KPBS San Diego

Jan Flora

Jan Flora specializes in the areas of community, agricultural, and rural change in the United States and developing countries at Iowa State University. He is a community extension specialist, assisting Hispanics and other immigrant groups to become more involved in their Iowa communities.

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson Quoted in the Financial Times

Published on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

The Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, Ben Johnson, was quoted in a Financial Times article titled "US Senate to debate immigration."  Here's an excerpt:

"In a sign of how the GOP establishment is swinging behind the effort, Crossroads GPS, the well-funded and influential political group run by former Bush aide Karl Rove, has started running newspaper ads in favour of immigration reform.

"The group has taken full-page ads in Washington newspapers declaring that 'America deserves an immigration system that works', saying reform 'presents a historic opportunity to strengthen our nation’s security and prosperity for the future'.

"However, many immigration reform advocates are holding their breath.

'This issue has proven to be difficult – beyond difficult – and I think it’s going to be a fight to the death,' said Ben Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, adding that it was still 'susceptible to political winds'.

Published in the Financial Times