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American Bar Association

Immigration Litigation Committee



Founded in 2001, the Immigration Litigation Committee is driven to provide education and to improve the administration of justice in the area of immigration law. We have been leading the way, and we’re at the forefront of some important immigration law developments, including:

  • The ABA adopted Standards for the Custody, Placement and Care; Legal Representation; and Adjudication of Unaccompanied Alien Children in the United States in August 2004. We participated in the drafting and cosponsorship of these standards.
  • The ABA adopted Resolutions Supporting Reform to the Immigration Removal Adjudication System in February 2010. We worked with the ABA Commission on Immigration to bring a set of six policy recommendations (114A-114F) before the ABA House of Delegates to support six key areas of the system needing reform: the Department of Homeland Security, immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, circuit court judicial review, representation, and system restructuring. The House of Delegates adopted five of the resolutions (114A, 114B, 114C, 114D, and 114F). Each of these resolutions serve as recommendations to the government intended to improve the current system, which suffers from shortages of staff and insufficient time to consider each case. More than 50 percent of undocumented immigrants and 84 percent of detained immigrants have no representation. A subsequent Litigation News article entitled “ABA Supports Retooling Immigration Court System” discusses our Committee’s endorsement and support for the creation of an Article I court system to create a new independent court for immigration cases. We look forward to continued government-wide conversations for improving the system of immigration case adjudication.
  • Nationwide pro bono training programs done locally in Washington, D.C.; Miami, Florida; and elsewhere are being conducted as a joint effort with the ABA Commission on Immigration. To further the ABA House of Delegates’ goal to encourage pro bono representation and equal access to justice in the civil justice system, these training programs give participants an in-depth introduction to immigration court representation with topics that include court procedures with specifics for detained cases; asylum, withholding of removal, and the Convention Against Torture; other forms of relief, criminal convictions, and waivers; and motions to reopen and appeals. These training programs are recommended for attorneys seeking to take on immigration litigation pro bono opportunities or for those interested in increasing their knowledge of immigration law. Immigration judges are present as special faculty guests.
  • The Immigration Litigation Lunch and Learn Series seeks to provide a complementary monthly educational teleconference featuring prominent attorneys and government speakers with expertise in various aspects of immigration law and litigation. Past programs include “The Year of Arizona,” focusing on Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which has caused significant national controversy, and “Avoiding Discrimination Claims in the Employment Verification Process,” which is a subject area that continues to impact employers nationwide.
  • ABA Section-wide and cross-Section programs have been well-received. These programs include a two-track program at the annual ABA Section of Administrative Law Conference entitled “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know about Immigration Law,” designed to address the primary areas of immigration law that attorneys of various disciplines encounter and the impact immigration law has on each, taught by specialized faculty to cover a range of essential concepts, including basic nuts and bolts for every lawyer regardless of specialty. It highlights critical circumstances, including the immigration implications of criminal convictions, employment-based immigration visas and corporate compliance, and family-based domestic violence and divorce matters. This program has resulted in the publication of a new reference book. Also, at the annual ABA Section of Litigation and Criminal Justice 2011 Joint Annual Conference, a program is geared toward the impact of Padilla v. Kentucky, a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision that has resulted in new obligations for criminal defense attorneys representing noncitizens accused of a crime.


We could certainly use your help! We have four busy subcommittees devoted to membership, publications, the webpage, and programming, with numerous opportunities to get involved, should you so desire. We also welcome your comments and your thoughts about what else the Section of Litigation and the Immigration Litigation Committee can do for you.

Join this Committee



September Lunch and Learn—Wednesday, September 25

The ABA Section of Litigation, Immigration Litigation Committee is proud to present the next installment of our Lunch and Learn Series. We will continue to offer complementary teleconferences featuring prominent attorneys, government speakers, and individuals specializing in various areas of law that touch on immigration. This month's teleconference will be held on:

Wednesday, September 25, from 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. (EDT)

Please join distinguished panelists David Hirson, partner at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP in Irvine, CA; and Angelo Paparelli, partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Los Angeles, CA/New York, NY; on: Recent Updates in EB-5, moderated by Committee Cochair Parisa Karaahmet, partner at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP in New York, NY.

Topics will include:

  • Brief Overview of May 30, 2013, USCIS EB-5 Adjudications Policy Memorandum and Key Points from that Memo
  • Observations on the EB-5 Adjudications Policy Memo
  • Adjudication trends post-EB-5 Adjudications Policy Memo
  • Brief discussion of proposed change in SEC rules from an immigration lawyer’s perspective and how this impacts those marketing EB-5 investments

This teleconference is free of charge and open to anyone. Please email Sarah Schroeder to RSVP. You may also submit questions ahead of time with your confirmation email. Please make the email subject line ABA September Telecon.

Should you have any questions, please contact Sarah Schroeder

Sarah Schroeder, Immigration Litigation Committee, programs chair

Parisa Karaahmet and Dree Collopy
Immigration Litigation Committee Chairs

Civil Right to Counsel Video

Learn more about the latest developments on the civil right to counsel movement and how you can get involved. Watch now.

Seeking Contributors

The Immigration Litigation Committee is looking for authors for articles. Contact a committee chair (see below) for more information.

Message from the Chairs

Welcome to the Immigration Litigation Committee’s webpage! We invite you to browse our site, to ask questions, and to send us suggestions for additional content.

We especially invite you to review our committee’s activities, particularly our programs and projects. We have an active Lunch-n-Learn teleconference program and offer pro bono training in immigration matters in large cities.

We seek participation from committee members in our activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please let one of us know of your interest and ideas. We would like to start getting you involved in our work now!

Peter F. Asaad, pasaad@immigrationsolutions.com
Parisa Karaahmet, pkaraahmet@fragomen.com
Chairs, Immigration Litigation Committee


Our active subcommittees include:

  • Newsletter
  • Programs
  • Pro Bono Training Project


  • Website/Technology
  • Membership

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:


Immigration Litigation Leadership

Cochairs Web Editor Newsletter Editor

Dree Kristin Collopy

Washington, DC

Parisa Karaahmet

New York, NY

Programs Chair

Sarah Schroeder

New York, NY

Christian Triantaphyllis

Houston, TX

Maurice Williams

Central Islip, NY