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This week, I was honored and very proud to become the new President of the South Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), an association of over 900 immigration lawyers. AILA South Florida’s membership covers a large area, from Vero Beach to Key West and across the State of Florida to the West Coast. It includes large metropolitan areas such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Counties covered include Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe, Collier, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee, Highlands and Glades.

As President of one of the largest and most active chapters of AILA in the country, I will be overseeing all operations of the chapter including all monthly Board meetings, 30 committees including liaison with different U.S. Government agencies and congressional and media advocacy. The AILA South Florida Chapter also plans and hosts one of the largest immigration conferences in the country.

As AILA South Florida President, my plan is to focus on education so the membership will be up to date with the most cutting edge strategies. This will help the immigration bar in South Florida be best equipped to represent their clients and have the best chance of success. I will also be focusing on engaging members to volunteer on AILA South Florida committees which in turn help improve our practice area and are for the good of our community and strengthening the chapter.

While I have aspired to be AILA South Florida President for many years, I never would have expected that when my time came to serve it would be during such a challenging time in our field. There is not only the threat of a physical wall being built along the Southern Border, but also the reality of an Invisible Wall which is the result of new policies that happen on a daily basis whether announced or not by USCIS all with minimal or no warning.

As a consequence, the challenge crosses all tracks of immigration practice whether business immigration, removal, family based, consular processing or humanitarian which includes asylum and temporary protected status.

As a result of the current environment, I will also focus on wellness and developing a culture of being present within the organization. I also plan to encourage strategic alliances as needed to join with AILA South Florida in the support for common sense immigration reform. I look forward to leading AILA South Florida, which is the preeminent immigration bar association in South Florida for the next 12 months.

For more immigration insights, visit our blog KnowingImmigrationLaw.