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"Hot Topics In Family-Based Immigration"
Speakers: Jacqueline Baronian, Philip Berns, Tanya Broder, Michelle Lazerow, Cyrus D. Mehta, Miko Tokuhama-Olsen, Barbara Weiner and Charles Wheeler

Seminar Outline Speaker bios REGISTER NOW!

Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips by the speakers, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants.


FIRST Phone Session on October 31:

Children's Issues

  • Child Status Protection Act - Age out protection for children of Permanent residents, refugees and asylees, and DV lottery winners
  • International Adoptions

SECOND Phone Session on November 26:

Financial issues

  • Receipt of government benefits by sponsor and applicant. Can an -I-485 sponsor or applicant receive Medicaid? SSI? Food stamps? Pregnancy Medicaid? Other benefits? When is ever should they terminate benefits?
  • Tax returns - what to do when your relative has paid taxes with someone else's social security number. When to amend tax returns.
  • When can the government sue a sponsor? What benefits received by a sponsored alien are redeemable by the government? Is the government likely to sue a sponsor?

THIRD Phone Session on December 20:

Marriage, Fraud and Other Issues

  • Multiple marriages. Is your client married to the sponsor? Is it a valid marriage? What is marriage fraud? Should your client remarry a spouse s/he believes she is already married to?
  • When has the INS or state department made a finding of marriage fraud?
  • Marriage immediately after entry,
  • AR-11 issues
  • Other fraud issues - entry, passport fraud, etc.
  • Special registration
    1. what is currently happening at the INS
    2. are 245(i) eligible aliens put into proceedings?
    3. how to advise clients
    4. what happens if an individual does not register

Citations for Session 1      Citations for Session 2      Citations for Session 3
Question 1


Jacqueline Baronian is a sole practitioner who has been practicing immigration law for over 10 years, specializing in complex family and business immigration cases. She is a past chair of the AILA NY Chapter and a former member of the AILA Board of Governors.

Philip Berns was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador and in Haiti. He practices in Stamford, CT. Unlike many immigration attorneys in the lucrative practice of employment-based immigration, Phil so enjoys helping everyday people. He specialized in family immigration, deportation, asylum, temporary protective status, NACARA, HRIFA, etc.

Tanya Broder is Staff Attorney and Policy Analyst at the National Immigration Law Center. She focuses primarily on analyzing the ways in which federal, state, and local governments have been implementing the welfare and immigration laws passed in 1996. She writes articles and policy analyses, provides technical assistance, and presents trainings to legal and social service providers, legislative staff, and community-based organizations. Before joining NILC in 1996, she worked as a policy analyst for the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights, and as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County in Oakland. Ms. Broder holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.

Michelle Lazerow has served on numerous AILA liaison committees, on both local and national level; has served on numerous AILA conference committees and has been on many panels at conferences both locally and nationally. Currently serves on the board of the American Immigration Law Foundation. She is a lifetime member of Who's Who.

Cyrus D. Mehta is Chair of the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Mr. Mehta was recently appointed First Vice Chair of the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF) - an immigration think tank that advances the positive impact of immigration in this country - after being an active trustee for four years. He is a frequent speaker at AILA conferences and is also involved in planning many of them. In 1997-1998, he was the Chair of AILA's Young Lawyers Division and also won the 1997 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyers Award for outstanding contributions in the immigration field.

Miko A. Tokuhama-Olsen is the Senior Attorney of the Individual Rights team at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. Mrs. Tokuhama-Olsen practices in all areas of immigration law, excluding business immigration. She is on the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Board of Governors of the and also serves on the American Bar Association's Commission on Immigration Policy, Practice and Pro Bono.

Barbara Weiner is staff attorney with the Greater Upstate Law Project, Inc., specializing in poverty law issues, since August of 1990. Admitted to practice in California in 1976 and in New York in 1982, she has spent most of her legal career with legal services programs, both in New York and in California. Prior to joining GULP, Ms. Weiner was employed by the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc., a field legal services program serving six upstate counties around the tri-cities area of Albany, Schenectady and Troy. As a staff attorney, she represented low income clients in a variety of poverty related cases, including challenges to reductions or terminations of public assistance and the representation of low income tenants in both public and private housing. She also served as legal counsel in various impact law cases, including a challenge to the application practices of a local social services district. Ms. Weiner has developed an expertise in Food Stamps and in immigrant access to public benefits.

Charles Wheeler has practiced immigration law for over 25 years specializing in alien eligibility for public benefits and most recently on affidavits of support. He is Senior Attorney at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) in San Francisco, California. Prior to this, he was the Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, California. He is a member of AILA's Liaison Committee on Family Law and its Liaison Committee on Social Security. He has published numerous articles and lectured widely on immigration law and aliens' rights issues.


$199 Seminar Package
Audio tape of Oct 31 seminar (90 minutes)
Audio tape of Nov 26 seminar (90 minutes)
Audio tape of Dec 20 seminar (90 minutes)

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