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AILA Director (2001-2004; 2005 to present) · ICE Liaison Committee (2007-2008) · FOIA and Privacy Liaison Committee (2006-2008) · CBP Liaison Committee (2005-2006) · Past Texas Chapter Chair (1998-1999) · Chair of the AILA/Administrative Appeals Office Liaison Committee (2003-2005, a committee Doug personally developed after numerous negotiations with AAO and CIS HQ.) · Three terms on the AILA/Texas Service Center Liaison Committee (2000-2003), serving two of the three years as Chairman · Member of the AILA/USCIS Service Center Operations Committee (2003-2005) · AILA/INS Headquarters/Benefits Liaison Committee · AILA Liaison Steering Committee (2003-2004) · Senior Editor for AILA publications (1999-present-editing over 17 books) · AILA Litigation Training Committee · Speaker at last nine AILA Annual Conferences · AILF Board of Trustees (2003-2007) · AILF Legal Action Committee (2004-2006) · Chapter Chair Training Committee  · Annual Conference Planning Sub-Committee· Chair of the AILA National Security Liaison Committee and much, much more. 


I have devoted over 24 years to AILA and the practice of immigration law.  I began my legal career as a legal intern for a small Oklahoma City immigration firm in 1981.  I was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 1983 and became a candidate for AILA membership in 1983 (AILA bylaws at that time required a one year candidacy before being accepted to membership).  I first presented materials at an AILA conference in 1983 for the Texas Chapter in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico after successfully presenting a governmental estoppels claim against the INS in federal court.  I have been a speaker at some type of AILA conference almost every single year since that date specifically at annual conferences from 1998 to 2007. 

I formed my own small boutique immigration practice in 1990. My daughter Kelli graduated from law school and joined my firm in 2006; my son Matt joined us in 2007. Both are members of AILA and practice immigration law exclusively (Nothing has made me more proud).

I worked my way up to leadership positions within the Texas Chapter and was elected Chapter Chair in 1998.  In the Texas Chapter, everyone has elections.  Perhaps that’s why I enjoy the campaign process and the thrill of elections—you win a few and you lose a few.  Regardless, it’s certainly an accomplishment to be Texas Chapter Chair when you are from Oklahoma.  I am only the second or third non-Texan to ever lead the organization. 

I am currently serving my second three-year term as a director on the AILA Board of Governors.  In my last election, I was placed on the slate by petition rather than nomination.  The nominating committee only nominated seven candidates for seven open director positions that year, and I believe I was able to win despite not being nominated because our members recognize leaders who give back to the organization and place the interest of others over their own individual needs.  AILA thrives because of its “team organization” and the membership recognizes that I am on this team.  After all, it really is about the team. 

I have made numerous contributions to AILA on both national and chapter levels throughout the last several years.  I have devoted a significant part of that time serving you in the “trenches” doing liaison, editing, and litigation training work.  I have dedicated literally thousands of hours to AILA during the past several years and have established a proven record of success with our organization. 


I practice in Oklahoma, but I am a member of the Texas Chapter.  I am the first candidate from Oklahoma to ever serve as an elected director on the Board.  I am also the only Oklahoman ever to seek nomination for ExComm.  I am from a small state, but a large chapter.  I offer an unusual geographical balance to the nomination process.


It’s not the German and French origin that makes me the most viable candidate; rather it’s the composition of my practice—approximately 50% business and 50% removal/family—with a hardcore twist of federal court litigation for both business and removal. 


I believe I understand and am more effective at the liaison process than most other candidates.  I served three terms on the AILA/Texas Service Center Liaison Committee from 2000 until 2003 and chaired that committee on two occasions.  My committee and I were integral players in expanding the role of AILA liaison from just policy discussion issues to practice matters including specific case intervention and resolution.  (Several of you may actually remember when we were precluded from bringing specific cases to the agency for review.)  This process allowed AILA to assist numerous attorneys in resolving crisis cases such as obtaining nunc pro tunc extensions for attorneys who failed to file timely extensions on behalf of their clients.  AILA did not coordinate liaison through the national office at that time, so I hired a secretary just to handle the sudden increase in liaison traffic related to specific case intervention.  AILA liaison intervention is now one of AILA’s most valuable assets. 

I was able to organize multi-agency liaison meetings with the TSC and we created a system for the FBI to expedite prints at the agency’s request.  The TSC allowed us to incorporate a liaison position just for age out cases.  My committee was also successful in negotiating approved liaison minutes confirming there was a distinction between U.S. Citizens and U.S. National claims on I-9s so employment based adjustment applications wouldn’t face lifetime bars.  

I next served on the AILA/USCIS Service Center Operations Committee from 2003-2005 and worked closely with CIS leadership to enhance the effectiveness of AILA liaisons.  I was also a member of the AILA/CIS Headquarters/Benefits Liaison Committee and served on the AILA Liaison Steering Committee during 2003-2004.  Essentially, I was serving on several of AILA’s most important national committees in a time where we were monthly, if not weekly, drafting position papers on AC-21, the zero tolerance policy, readjudication of previously determined issues, H-1B cap gap policies, and other matters.

In March 2003, I proposed to the ExComm that we attempt to establish an AAO/Liaison Committee in an effort to impact the gatekeepers’ prevailing “no philosophy” by developing a relationship at the administrative appellate level.  I was successful in creating the first AILA/AAO Liaison Committee and was Chair from 2003-2005.  We established an expedited appeal process for “trend cases” and achieved measurable success, especially on ability to pay religious workers’ appeal issues. 

In 2005, I proposed to ExComm that AILA establish the AILA/CIS National Security Liaison Committee.  My goal was to create an opportunity to assist membership in resolving long delayed security checks on adjustment and naturalization cases.  I knew some of the FBI structure because of my work with the TSC and FBI in age-outs.  The committee was formed and although I participated in meetings with agency officials, we were unable to persuade the FBI to engage in our liaison efforts.  I was, however, successful in obtaining information aiding litigation efforts to discover the current criteria for expediting FBI checks. 

I was next appointed to the AILA/CBP Liaison Committee for the 2005-2006 liaison term.  The committee focused primarily on border practice issues and exposure to these matters broadened my appreciation for border practitioners. 

I served on the DHS FOIA/Privacy Office Liaison Committee in 2006-2007.  We identified critical flaws in the FOIA response process.  We worked with CIS, ICE, and CBP in efforts to streamline the process and identified avenues to assist the agencies in reducing their backlog.  One thing is certain; these agencies still fail to communicate with each other.  I currently serve on the AILA/ICE Liaison Committee for 2007-2008.


AILA cannot maintain effective liaison without the ability to litigate and I have aggressively championed the need for organized litigation.  During a Board of Governors meeting in 1998, Past AILA Presidents Peter Williamson, Ron Klasko, and I were addressing the Board on some of the jurisdiction restricting provisions of IIRIRA and the real danger that the statute was to our practices.  We asked each board member to raise their respective hand if they had ever filed a federal court lawsuit.  We were shocked.  Only about five members out of the entire body had taken federal agencies to court.  Those of us who had extensive litigation experience knew we had a mission. I joined several others within AILA leadership, and immediately went into overdrive pressing for the creation of a litigation arm to challenge the agency on certain issues and train our membership on litigation strategies.  In March 1999, the Board approved funding for a three year litigation campaign.  We immediately planned a series of conferences across the U.S. and I was co-editor for the Immigration Law Litigation Conference Handbook (1999).  I assisted AILA and AILF in rolling out our first ever significant litigation campaign and related training program.  I was also co-editor for the next major litigation training effort when we published the AILA Litigation Tool Box in 2001. 

In 2003, I was appointed to the AILF Board of Trustees and served on AILF’s Legal Action Committee from 2004-2006 where I assisted Nadine Wettstein and others in reviewing issues for AILF impact litigation.  The committee was responsible for recommending litigation against DOL to reopen BEC cases erroneously closed.  We reviewed, researched, recommended, and persuaded AILF to submit amicus briefs in cases involving arriving aliens and adjustment, Child Status Protection Act, and other important issues impacting our membership.


I also practice what I preach.  Between November 2005 and December 2007, I filed lawsuits representing over 35 parties in mandamus actions, habeas cases and petitions for review against relevant agencies in the 10th Circuit during this period.  I still work regularly with immigration law litigation project groups across the U.S.


Liaison and litigation have reduced value if the law strictly precludes relief.  I have consistently been successful in persuading my largest corporate clients to join AILA in our sign on campaigns and have been a regular voice in the halls of Congress pressing for immigration legislation.  In 2004-2005, I joined others in AILA leadership and campaigned aggressively for the overhaul and revamping of the AILA lobby structure.  Many of our goals have now been incorporated into the AILA advocacy organization with the additions of new positions and significantly increased funding.    Recently, I became one of the 35 founding members of an immigration P.A.C. created to support candidates sympathetic to our immigration needs.  The organization “Immigrants Lists” has already made efforts to impact several critical elections.


I have served as an AILA Editor each year since 1999 and was appointed Senior Editor for AILA publications in 2003.  I have edited or co-edited over 19 books for our organization. Each year I edit, research, and assist AILA authors in redrafting their articles for publication in AILA books.  Those of you who have ever participated in this effort know it is exhausting, but rewarding. 


I served on the first AILA Chapter Chair Training Committee and was a member of the Annual Conference Planning subcommittee. As previously referenced, I also served on the Boards 2006 nominating committee.


I have consistently received a wide range of support for previous nominations.  Numerous past presidents, elected directors, chapter chairs, national committee chairs, and committee members, as well as AILF trustees and honorees have risen to my support.  Business practitioners, removal specialists, and litigators all agree that I should be nominated to serve on ExComm.  Gay and lesbian coalitions, advocacy groups, and even the most conservative members of our leadership have agreed to support my candidacy. 


I believe the most valuable assets that AILA brings to our membership are liaison, litigation, advocacy, and education. 

  • LIAISON—as a member of the AILA Executive Committee, I would like to continue expanding the scope of our liaison efforts and establish multi-agency liaison committees like we have done with our DHS FOIA/Privacy committee.  Interagency communication is minimal at best and we are the perfect vehicle to facilitate the flow of information between agencies impacting AILA. 

AILA Liaison has been extremely effective in the trenches, at the level where our members trudge each day.  It’s time to work with our chapters in creating AILA Liaison positions to serve our members needs with the district attorneys and state court judges.  AILA Liaisons should be appearing at state judicial conferences and district attorney association meetings to function as educators and facilitators. 

A liaison committee is all too often only as effective as its chair.  We need additional staff for liaison efforts to help keep the chairs on track and move at full potential.  We need to intensify liaison with DHS on UPL issues.  I just recently engaged in two lawsuits against a notary who has harmed many aliens in the community.  If CIR is implemented, we will be confronted with numerous difficult UPL issues. 

  • LITIGATION—I believe we must be more aggressive in our litigation against agencies that seek to limit the practice of law by precluding the foreign national’s right to retain his or her own attorney. AILA must remain committed to sufficiently funding AILF Litigation, so that we can seek judicial intervention when liaison fails or when agencies fail to engage in dialogue.
  • ADVOCACY—as a member of the executive committee, I will continue to press for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  We must build additional alliances with non profits and industry to join forces in driving a comprehensive reform bill through Congress. 

I am pleased with the recent restructuring of our advocacy department but I believe we need additional staff at this extremely critical period in history to press our agenda in Congress.  We can always downsize our advocacy staff in the future (if necessary).

  • EDUCATION AND NEW MEMBERS—I have worked historically with AILA new member leadership to identify issues high on their priority.  Continuing legal education remains at the forefront of membership desires.  AILA Legal Education Programs are of superior quality and provide a significant revenue source for our organization.  I do believe there is room for growth in our publication activities.  We need to broaden our vision in this area and encourage our members to assist us in expanding our materials.  I would also like to see AILA develop clinics for new members focusing on real world removal hearing practices and actually teaching participants how to litigate and argue in immigration court. 


I have consistently proven that I am a passionate leader with the ability to motivate others.  I have learned much from my leadership positions in AILA and am ready to utilize this refined knowledge in exercising my duties as National Secretary.  I have a good working relationship with the executive committee.  Like most of you, I have strong opinions on many topics, but respect the beliefs of others.  I have made mistakes over the years, but like all good leaders, have learned from those mistakes.

T. Douglas Stump


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