U.S. Department of Justice
NEWS RELEASE Contact: Office of Public Affairs
November 17, 2000
INVESTITURE CEREMONY FOR NEW MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) officially welcomed the three newest Members of the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) at an investiture ceremony today in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia. Attorney General Janet Reno was the keynote speaker and administered the oath of office to new Board Members NoŽl A. Brennan, Cecelia M. Espenoza, and Juan P. Osuna, all of whom she appointed to the Board during the past year. The ceremony also included welcoming addresses by EOIR Director Kevin D. Rooney and Board Chairman Paul W. Schmidt.
The Board, as part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the Department of Justice, is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It is responsible for hearing appeals of decisions rendered by Immigration Judges or certain INS officers. The Board currently has 19 Members, including a Chairman and two Vice Chairs, all of whom are appointed by the Attorney General through a competitive hiring process. The Board is located at EOIR headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, where it reviews and decides all appellate cases, although Board panels sometimes hear oral arguments in other locations nationwide.
NoŽl A. Brennan was appointed to the Board in July 2000. Before joining the Board, since June 1994, Brennan served in the Department of Justice as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Justice Programs, where she was the chief architect of Attorney General Janet Reno's community justice agenda. From 1987 to 1994, she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Brennan served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 1986 to 1987, and on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia from 1985 to 1986. Brennan was a principal in setting up the D.C. Mediation Service, the first mediation service in the District of Columbia. Throughout her career, she has been active in pro bono and legal services efforts in the D.C. community. Brennan received her B.A. from Marywood College in 1969, her M.A. from George Washington University in 1972, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1985, where she has been an adjunct professor of law since 1991. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and New York Bars and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the D.C. Bar.
Cecelia M. Espenoza was appointed to the Board in July 2000. Prior to her appointment, Espenoza taught immigration law and trial advocacy as an associate professor of law at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, since July 1997. She also supervised law students in the Immigration Clinic at St. Mary's Center for Legal and Social Justice. From August 1990 to May 1997, she taught immigration and criminal law and evidence as an assistant professor of law at the University of Denver College of Law in Denver, Colorado. She also developed an immigration externship program in Denver which placed students in immigration law positions. She has authored numerous articles on immigration matters in prominent legal publications. In Utah, Espenoza worked as a city prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney in Salt Lake City from 1986 to 1990, and as a city prosecutor in Sandy City from 1984 to 1986. She was director of the Migrant Unit and bilingual attorney for the Utah Legal Services, Inc., from 1982 to 1984. Since 1982, she has served on several immigration-related panels of the American Bar Association (ABA), including the Pro Bono Immigration Board and the Immigration Coordinating Council. She chaired the ABA's Immigration Committee from 1987 to 1989. Ms. Espenoza received her B.A. in 1979 and her J.D. in 1982, both from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She is a member of the Utah, Colorado, and Texas State Bars.
Juan P. Osuna was appointed to the Board in July 2000. Before his appointment, Osuna served as senior principal attorney editor at West Group, a prominent publisher of legal materials in the United States, until the end of 1999. As part of his duties at West, Osuna was responsible for all editorial, management, and publication aspects of periodicals, books, and electronic products reporting on immigration and nationality law, including the weekly Interpreter Releases and the monthly Immigration Briefings. He also was responsible for site management of West Group's editorial operations in Washington, D.C. Since 1997, Osuna has also served as a consultant for Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., in Washington, D.C., where he has edited a number of publications. Previously, he taught law at the Federal Judicial Center's Division of Court Education, in Washington, D.C., and at The American University, where he was an adjunct professor in the University's Washington Semester Program. Osuna has also worked at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, both in Washington, D.C. After receiving his B.A. in 1985 from George Washington University, Osuna attended the Washington College of Law at The American University, where he earned his J.D. in 1988. In 1989, he also received an M.A. in law and international affairs from the University's School of International Service. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.
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