ILW.COM - the immigration portal Seminars

Haiti Immigration Relief

Speakers: Greg Siskind, Elaine Witty, Shaina Aber, Susana Barciela, David Hiles (USCIS), Ira J. Kurzban, Cheryl Little, Lisette Losada, Melanie Nezer, Alice Smith (USCIS) and Conrad Zaragoza (USCIS)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 11:59PM (ET), July 12, 2010

Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Seminar Outline Speaker bios Testimonials REGISTER NOW!

Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by questions and answers from participants. Net proceeds received from this seminar series will be donated to Haitian non-profit organizations. See below for list of non-profit organizations.


FIRST Phone Session on January 27: Immigration Options for Haitians

  1. Haitians already in the US
    1. Removal moratorium
    2. TPS/Deferred Enforce Departure update
    3. Other options?
  2. Haitians outside the US
    1. Quake's impact on consular processing
    2. Haitians caught at sea
    3. Refugee and asylum options?
  3. Advocacy update
    1. Updating the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act
    2. CIR
    3. Detention reforms

SECOND Phone Session on February 24:


  • What is TPS?
  • Who eligible for TPS?
  • How do you apply for TPS?
  • How do you prove you were here on January 12th?
  • What if required documents are not available?
  • Can people on TPS travel?
  • How does applying for TPS affect eligibility for immigration benefits?
  • What about people in non-immigrant categories?
  • What would bar someone from TPS?
Removal and Detention
  • What is going to happen to people in removal proceedings?
  • Can Haitians in the U.S with a Final Order of Removal apply for TPS? If so, what is the paper work necessary?
  • What about people in detention now?
  • What should be people do who were in the process of adopting a Haitian child PRIOR to 1.12.10 earthquake?
    • Humanitarian parole available for children with proof of confirmed adoption (case by case basis)
    • (more information available through DHS website)
  • What if I am interested in adopting a Haitian orphan in response to the 1.12.10 earthquake?
    • Being advised to wait. Need to determine if children are orphans or separated form their parents before any new adoption proceedings star taking place.
Family matters:
  • What should be done about original documentation requested by USCIS when most official documents were destroyed during the Earthquake?
  • Has the U.S embassy in Haiti indicated how it will go about processing cases that were on the verge of completion?
  • What is the U.S government doing about approved I-130 beneficiaries still in Haiti?
  • Is there any expedite procedure available to petition for and bring over immediate relatives?
  • What about naturalized Haitian citizens who want to adopt orphaned nieces/ family members?
  • Will people with cases awaiting consular processing be paroled in to the US to file to adjust in the US?
  • Are Haitian nationals fleeing Haiti being granted refugee status in the U.S?
  • What happens if a Haitian is caught at sea on the way to the US?

THIRD Phone Session on July 14:

  • Status of conditions in Haiti
  • Update on USCIS TPS program and policies
  • Nuts and bolts of TPS applications
  • TPS application RFE's and practice pitfalls to avoid
  • What to do if your client has a red flag?
  • Humanitarian Parole update and issues

Citations for Session 2

Citations for Session 3

Note: As for all our seminar series, if you are unable to attend one or more sessions, we will send an audio recording of the teleconference by mail.


Greg Siskind (Co-discussion Leader) is the founding partner of Siskind Susser and has been practicing immigration law since 1990. Since he started Siskind Susser in 1994, he has become one of the best-known immigration lawyers in the country. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, Gregory Siskind went on to receive his law degree from the University of Chicago. For the past several years, he has been an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He recently served as chairman of the AILA Physicians Committee and now chairs the Foreign Medical Graduate Taskforce. Greg is a member of the American Bar Association where he serves on the Council of the Law Practice Management Section. He is also a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Nashville Bar Association and the Memphis Bar Association. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and on the executive board of the Jewish Family Service agency in Memphis, Tennessee. He recently was named one of the Top 40 executives under age 40 in Memphis, Tennessee by the Memphis Business Journal and as one of the 101 best lawyers in Tennessee by Business Tennessee Magazine. Greg regularly writes on the subject of immigration law. He has written several hundred articles on the subject and is also the author of the book The J Visa Guidebook, published by Lexis-Nexis, one of the nation's leading legal publishers. He is also a technology columnist for Immigration Law Today published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Elaine Witty (Co-discussion leader) is founding partner of Witty Law Group, PLLC located in New York City. She is former Senior Counsel to AV rated national immigration law firm Siskind Susser in Memphis, TN. Ms. Witty is past Executive Director of the Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs at the Human Resources Administration under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. She also served as Director of Legal Affairs for Citizenship New York City, a mayoral citizenship initiative, developed by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Ms. Witty is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Federal Bar Associationís Immigration Law Section and Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Committee. She is past Chapter Chair of the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ms. Witty is the recipient of the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Pro Bono Award in recognition of her tireless work on behalf of low-income Brooklynites. Ms. Witty has taught immigration law seminars at New York Law School, City University of New York, City Bar Association, Federal Bar Association Immigration Law and Labor Law Sections, and the American Immigration Lawyers Associationís National, Mid-South Chapter, New York Chapter, and Rome District Chapter Conferences. She is the author of numerous articles on immigration law including: overview of immigration law, consular processing, waivers of inadmissibility, religious worker eligibility, and immigration law for the family law practitioner. Ms. Witty is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yeshiva University, Stern College for Women. She is admitted to practice in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee. Ms. Witty is admitted to the Federal Courts: the Eastern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Western District of Tennessee, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and, the United States Supreme Court. Her practice areas include employment based immigration, litigation and deportation defense, family based immigration with a specialty in waivers of inadmissibility, naturalization and derivative citizenship, and religious worker cases. She can be reached at

Shaina Aber is the Associate Advocacy Director at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the NGO co-chair of the Refugee Council USA/PRM Joint Regional Working Group on Latin America. Working to further the Jesuit Refugee Service's mission of providing assistance to refugees and those forcibly displaced through programs in areas such as education, health care, pastoral work, legal counseling, and income generating activities in over 55 countries around the world, Shaina has geographic responsibility for Latin America and the Caribbean, and sectoral responsibilities for U.S. asylum, detention and deportation policies. In this capacity she makes frequent trips to visit JRS programs in Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S.-Mexico Border. She advocates both on behalf of JRS in the United States and in coordination with JRS abroad for the protection and assistance of vulnerable displaced people. Shaina's career has focused on the development of pertinent policy critiques and analysis of human rights developments in the Latin American region and within individual Latin American nation-states, with special emphasis on the ensuring inter-governmental protections for vulnerable refugees and other disenfranchised or stateless peoples. During the summer of 2005, Shaina worked for the protection and resettlement units of UNHCR in Quito Ecuador. Shaina holds a Juris Doctorate degree and Special Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelors of Arts in Latin American Studies from Macalester College.

Susana Barciela is policy director for Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC), a non-profit law firm that represents low-income and undocumented immigrants at no charge. FIAC strives to improve the treatment of immigrants overall. We challenge immigration policies and practices at every level of government, whether with a lawsuit or persistent persuasion. Ms. Barciela concentrates on FIAC's "advocacy" mission. She ensures that our recommendations influence policymakers through FIAC reports, media coverage, and involvement in national, community and other efforts. Previously, Ms. Barciela worked at the Miami Herald for 21 years. As an editorial board member, she covered immigration and foreign affairs, particularly in relation to Latin American, Cuba and Haiti -- among other issues. Prior to joining the Miami editorial board in 1997, she was a business reporter and wrote a weekly column on workplace issues. She has been awarded top honors for commentary on immigration issues by the Inter American Press Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Ms. Barciela is coauthor of the report Dying for Decent Care: Bad Medicine in Immigration Custody and U.S. Immigration Detention Reforms, a Lexis Nexis Emerging Issues Analysis.

David Hiles is Chief of Lockbox Operations at US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Ira J. Kurzban has been a partner in the law firm of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger & Tetzeli, P.A. of Miami, Florida for over three decades. Mr. Kurzban is a past-national President and former General Counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He has received national recognition for his work in the immigration field. He has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the top twenty immigration lawyers in the United States; he has been listed for over a decade in the Best Lawyers in America for his work in immigration and employment law; and he has been listed every year in the Lawdragon as one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States. Mr. Kurzban was the first recipient of the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Award presented by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. He is also the recipient of the Lawyers of the Americas Award for his work on behalf of human rights in this hemisphere given by the University of Miami, The Jack Wasserman Award for excellence in federal litigation and the Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for excellence in the advancement of immigration law given by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Carol King Award for his effort in immigration law given by the Nation Lawyers Guild. In 1986 Mr. Kurzban was selected by Newsweek Magazine in their commemorative issue on the hundredth anniversary of the Statue of Liberty as one of 100 American heroes for his work on behalf of immigrants. He was also selected by Esquire Magazine as part of America's New Leadership Class. Mr. Kurzban has also been named to Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in the World. He was also named as one of the world's twenty three most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyers in the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and praised as a legend in the field who has written the definitive book on U.S. immigration law.

Cheryl Little is the Executive Director and Founder of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Ms. Little has been a tireless advocate for immigrant rights for nearly two decades and has established herself as one of this country's leading experts in the immigration field. Her extensive involvement in immigration dates from 1985 when, upon her graduation from law school with honors, she began working at the Haitian Refugee Center. Since 1996, she has served as the Executive Director of Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Inc. (FIAC), an agency she co-founded. Ms. Little is the recipient of numerous awards in connection with her work, including the 2004 Nelson Poynter Civil Liberties Award from the Florida Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Public Service Award. She has also received the American Red Cross 2000 Spectrum Award for Women, Miami-Dade County Associations of School Social Workers' Community Service Award, St. Thomas University Center for Justice and Peace Institute for Pastoral Ministries' Peacemaker of the Community Award, Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board's Pillars Awards 2003, and the Miami-Dade County Asian-American Advisory Board's Distinguished Community Service Award in 2003.

Lisette Losada is a supervising attorney who joined FIAC in August 1997. She has litigated numerous cases on behalf of immigrants both in immigration court and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. She has been a speaker at numerous conferences regarding immigration laws and procedures. She also provides training and technical assistance to other attorneys and educational outreach to the community. Prior to joining FIAC, Lisette practiced immigration law in New York. She received her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School where she was the recipient of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellowship. She also was granted a judicial internship with New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard F. Braun. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University. She is a member of the New York, New Jersey and Florida state bars.

Melanie Nezer is Senior Director for U.S. Programs and Advocacy for HIAS. Ms. Nezer directs HIAS' Washington, DC office and coordinates HIAS' immigration and refugee services department. Ms. Nezer is actively involved with education and advocacy on immigration, asylum, and refugee protection issues. In her previous role at HIAS, Ms. Nezer was Migration Policy Counsel and Director of the Employment Visa Program, representing at-risk Jewish professionals and religious workers seeking to work in the U.S. during times of instability and crisis in their home countries. Before joining HIAS, Ms. Nezer was the Immigration Policy Director for Immigration and Refugee Services of America/US Committee for Refugees (IRSA-USCR, now known as USCRI), where in addition to conducting advocacy on immigration and asylum issues, she was co-editor of Refugee Reports and a writer for the annual World Refugee Survey. Prior to her work in Washington, Ms. Nezer was in private practice in Miami, Florida, where she specialized in immigration law and criminal defense. Ms. Nezer obtained her law degree from Boston College Law School and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Alice Smith is Associate Counsel at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Conrad Zaragoza is Chief of Application Support Centers at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Net proceeds will go to the following non-profit organizations:

  1. Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
  2. Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Inc.
  3. US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  4. Greater Boston Legal Services (Immigration Unit)
  5. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  6. Other organizations to be added soon
Following the same principles that we implemented for the Immigration Implications of September 11th Tragedy seminar, we request attorneys who register for the Haiti Immigration Relief seminar, to nominate a non-profit organization to receive part of the net proceeds. The nominee must be an immigration-related organization working on a Haiti-related cause. We will not consider nominations of general relieving organizations such as the Red Cross, as we believe the proceeds should benefit organizations in the immigration law field supporting a Haitian cause. Please include the name of the organization in the Comments section of the registration form page.

Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$99 Seminar Package 
Includes all three dates:

Audio CD of Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 (60 Minutes)
Audio CD of Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 (60 Minutes)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All seminars occur 2:00-3:00pm EST
(11:00-12:00 PST)

Registration deadline is
11.59 pm (ET), July 12th!

If you prefer to sign up by mail or fax click here for the order form

Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers