Overview

In a changing political climate, navigating new policies, guidance and interpretations of the law is more important than ever. UT Law’s 41st Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law is ideal for practitioners of all experience levels, and provides an opportunity to hear the latest developments and to meet with and learn from nationally recognized experts. Interact with your fellow practitioners to hear how they are dealing with the tough issues of the day.
 
The 2-day program offers in-depth discussion on issues at the forefront of immigration practice, and provides tools, forms, tips and guidance on key decision points and strategies in family-based and employment-based immigration, including the increasing importance of removal and relief from removal. Gain strategies to provide the best advocacy for your clients while protecting yourself and your practice. 

  • Gain practical insight into new immigration policies and the current political landscape.
  • Review the latest Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit, and Board of Immigration Appeals cases and decisions.
  • Know your rights at the border, and hear practical advice on how to protect you and your clients.
  • Examine business-based immigration topics including an overview of work visas, a deeper dive into H1-B visas and common problems for employers, PERM processing, and worksite enforcement.
  • Learn how to prepare for audits and raids and what to do once they occur.
  • Review procedures, options, and defenses for removal.
  • Discuss how to avoid and address your client’s fraud or misrepresentation findings when dealing with the USCIS, DOS, and Immigration court.
  • Interact with faculty, fellow practitioners and pro bono organization representatives during Thursday’s Networking Reception and Pro Bono Mixer.

Come a day early for the Fundamentals of Immigration and Nationality Law - ideal for new entrants to the field or as a refresher for experienced practitioners.

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.
All times are Central Time Zone.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, October 26, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Jacqueline L. Watson, Walker-Gates Vela, PLLC - Austin, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Austin Only
    Registration Opens
    Includes continental breakfast.

  • 8:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:30 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    The Realization of "America First" and What it Means for Immigration Law
    The Trump Administration has ushered in an era of optical security measures and further disruption of the current dysfunctional immigration process. DACA survival still is uncertain, while the extent of presidential power over immigration policy continues to be stretched to its uncertain limits. The America First mantra is impacting the position of the U.S. in competition for global talent and investment. On the home front, the federal courts are more critical than ever. Time for a crystal ball report.

    Kathleen C. Walker, Dickinson Wright - El Paso, TX

  • 9:00 am
    1.00 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Knowing Your Rights at the Border
    Understand what is actually happening at points of entry, including airports and other "non-border" points of entry. Discuss the limitations on Customs and Border Protection searches and interrogations of both citizens and non-citizens alike, the extent of the right to representation at the ports-of-entry, and how certain non-citizens may be processed if denied admission. 

    Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez, Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C. - Dallas, TX
    Jacqueline L. Watson, Walker-Gates Vela, PLLC - Austin, TX

  • 10:00 am
    Break

  • 10:15 am
    1.00 hr
    0.75 hr ethics
    Audits and Raids, Part I: What Happens and How to Prepare
    The current “Trump facts” are that raids to detain criminal foreign nationals have increased, and with a plan to hire 10,000 more officers, employer raids may see an increase too. Learn about the reality of ICE’s current worksite process, best practices to prepare employers for an I-9 audit or raid, how to protect the worker, and the always reoccurring ethical issue: who do I represent, how can I represent them, who can I NOT represent, and how do I tell them?

    Kevin Robert Lashus, FisherBroyles LLP - Austin, TX
    Patrick K. O'Rourke, Harry Gee & Associates, PLLC - Houston, TX

  • 11:15 am
    0.75 hr ethics
    Audits and Raids, Part II: Aftermath of the Notice of Inspection, Subpoena, and/or Warrants Presented
    When an attorney receives the call that an audit or raid has occurred, questions must be answered: Who do you represent and is there a conflict of interest? What are the facts and do we know more than the government? Is it civil or criminal or both? 

    Richard A. Gump Jr., The Law Offices of Richard A. Gump, Jr. P.C. - Dallas, TX
    Susan Bond, The Law Office of Susan Bond P.C. - Dallas, TX

  • 12:00 pm
    Austin Only
    Pick Up Lunch
    Included in registration. 

  • Thursday Afternoon, October 26, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Mona Gupta, Gupta & Wiora, P.C. - Dallas, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:20 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Operation Lawyer Up: Strategies to Protect Your Client and Your License
    Hear realistic litigation advice in a new area of immigration enforcement.

    Feroz Farook Merchant, The Merchant Law Firm - Houston, TX
    F. Andino Reynal, Fertitta Reynal LLP - Houston, TX

  • 1:05 pm
    Break

  • 1:20 pm
    0.75 hr
    Case Law Update
    Review important cases and hot topics from the Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit, and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

    Imran B. Mirza, Law Office of Imran Mirza, PC - Houston, TX

  • 2:05 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Advanced Perspectives on Boogeyman and Sack Man: Fraud and Misrepresentation
    Hear an overview of the various federal fraud and misrepresentation statutes, the precise elements of fraud and misrepresentation in the INA, the current state of the case law, and available defenses. 

    Simon M. Azar-Farr, Simon Azar-Farr & Associates - San Antonio, TX

  • 2:50 pm
    Break

  • 3:00 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Immigration Fraud and Remedies
    Learn how to address your client’s fraud or misrepresentation findings when dealing with USCIS, DOS, and immigration court. Identify available remedies including waivers and strategies of challenging unwarranted fraud findings. Understand your ethical obligations in handling a client who might be lying to you or to the immigration agency or court.

    Nicolas Chavez, Chavez & Valko, LLP - Fort Worth, TX
    Ruby L. Powers, Powers Law Group, P.C. - Houston, TX

  • 4:00 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Ask the Experts
    Take advantage of an interactive opportunity to have top immigration lawyers answer your questions and provide solutions to your ethical quandaries. Please submit your questions in advance to ConferenceQA@utcle.org or on-site at the conference registration desk.

    Moderator:
    Eugene J. Flynn, Eugene J. Flynn, P.C. - Dallas, TX
    Panelists:
    Nicolas Chavez, Chavez & Valko, LLP - Fort Worth, TX
    Amelia Ruiz Fischer, Fischer & Fischer, Attorneys at Law - Nacogdoches, TX
    Francisco J. García, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - Galveston, TX
    Patrick K. O'Rourke, Harry Gee & Associates, PLLC - Houston, TX

  • 5:00 pm
    Austin Only
    Adjourn to Networking Reception and Pro Bono Mixer
    Introduction by Robert Painter, American Gateways, Austin, TX


  • Austin Only
    NETWORKING RECEPTION AND PRO BONO MIXER (5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
    Enjoy refreshments and a networking opportunity with colleagues, conference faculty, and pro bono organization representatives.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, October 27, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Judy J. Lee, Foster LLP - Houston, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Austin Only
    Conference Room Opens
    Includes continental breakfast. 

  • 8:00 am
    0.75 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Case Strategy, Planning, and Documentation: Asking the Right Questions
    Examine the fundamentals of “smart lawyering” using the right questions, searches, and documentation in filing for benefits with USCIS or the Immigration Court. Discuss how the lawyer can protect herself and her client from findings of fraud, unnecessary RFEs, NOIDs, denials, proceedings, and orders of removal.

    Mona Gupta, Gupta & Wiora, P.C. - Dallas, TX
    George Rodriguez, Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C. - Dallas, TX

  • 8:45 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Use of T‑Visas, U‑Visas, and Issue Spotting
    Using hypothetical case examples, explore the pros and cons of filing a U-visa, T-visa, or both, in a variety of circumstances.

    Natalia Drelichman, American Gateways - Austin, TX
    Stacie Leigh Jonas, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid - Austin, TX

  • 9:30 am
    0.50 hr
    Expedited Removal, Asylum, and Credible Fear Interviews
    Address expedited removal and its proposed expansion, as well as defenses to expedited removal including asylum and the credible fear interview process. 

    Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, Lincoln-Goldfinch Law - Austin, TX

  • 10:00 am
    Break

  • 10:15 am
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Removal Defenses: A View from the Trenches
    Review the procedures for fighting removal in immigration court, and explore defenses to removal, including an overview of the most common ones and how to present them.

    Lance Edward Curtright, De Mott, McChesney, Curtright & Armendáriz, LLP - San Antonio, TX
    Amelia Ruiz Fischer, Fischer & Fischer, Attorneys at Law - Nacogdoches, TX
    Richard S. Fischer, Fischer & Fischer, Attorneys at Law - Nacogdoches, TX

  • 11:15 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Can I Stay or Must I Go? Adjustment versus Consular Processing
    Distinguish strategies surrounding adjustment of status versus consular processing. Explore the advantages of adjustment and requirements for eligibility (inspected and admitted or paroled), filing Section 245i petitions, parole, NACARA, maintenance of status while determinations are pending, National Visa Center/Direct Consular applications, and immigrant visa interviews when waivers are required.

    Nancy Taylor Shivers, Shivers & Shivers - San Antonio, TX
    Eugene J. Flynn, Eugene J. Flynn, P.C. - Dallas, TX

  • 12:00 pm
    Austin Only
    Pick Up Lunch
    Included in registration. 

  • Friday Afternoon, October 27, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Vanna Slaughter, Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Afffairs - Dallas, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:20 pm
    0.75 hr
    Current Immigration Policies and the Political Landscape
    Discuss the changing dynamics of immigration politics and what’s on the horizon for immigration law and policy. Are uncertainty, unpredictability, and dysfunction the new normal on immigration?

    Benjamin E. Johnson, American Immigration Lawyers Association - Washington, DC

  • 1:05 pm
    Break

  • 1:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Employment Hot Topics
    Review the latest updates in employment-based immigration, including the High-Skilled Worker Regulations, I-9 and E-Verify developments, H-1B trends and issues, and the new standard for National Interest Waiver processing. Gather the latest regulatory and policy updates, discuss legislative proposals to follow in employment-based immigration, and hear “tips from the trenches” for navigating these cases.

    Ester Greenfield, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless - Seattle, WA
    Maggie Murphy, Jackson Lewis P.C. - Austin, TX

  • 1:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Business Immigration Math 101
    Business immigration math is both art and science. Learn to navigate the Department of Labor’s framework of SVP and ONET Job Zones, using real-world examples to correctly calculate wage levels for H-1B and PERM positions. Also, hear strategies for overcoming prevailing wage issues while avoiding common ethical pitfalls.

    James Devlin Cypert, Harry Gee & Associates, PLLC - Houston, TX
    Francisco J. García, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - Galveston, TX

  • 2:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    How to Win a PERM
    Brush up on the basic PERM framework, the notion of "good faith" in recruitment methods and consideration of applicants, and hot PERM topics including quantification of requirements. Glean practice tips on distinguishing fatal and nonfatal errors and the value of using checklists to minimize future errors. 

    Ester Greenfield, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless - Seattle, WA
    Rebecca R. Massiatte, JMO Firm, PLLC - Dallas, TX

  • 3:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    The Welcoming America Movement
    Recognizing the assets immigrants bring to cities, a growing number of municipalities have implemented innovative programs and policies to ensure their communities are inclusive and welcoming. Hear how welcoming cities are prospering by making all residents, including immigrants, feel like they belong.

    Felicia Escobar Carrillo, Welcome America - Los Angeles, CA
    Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs - Dallas, TX

  • 3:50 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Simon M. Azar-Farr

Simon Azar-Farr & Associates
San Antonio, TX

Susan Bond

The Law Office of Susan Bond P.C.
Dallas, TX

Liz Cedillo-Pereira

Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs
Dallas, TX

Nicolas Chavez

Chavez & Valko, LLP
Fort Worth, TX

Lance Edward Curtright

De Mott, McChesney, Curtright & Armendáriz, LLP
San Antonio, TX

James Devlin Cypert

Harry Gee & Associates, PLLC
Houston, TX

Natalia Drelichman

American Gateways
Austin, TX

Felicia Escobar Carrillo

Welcome America
Los Angeles, CA

Amelia Ruiz Fischer

Fischer & Fischer, Attorneys at Law
Nacogdoches, TX

Richard S. Fischer

Fischer & Fischer, Attorneys at Law
Nacogdoches, TX

Eugene J. Flynn

Eugene J. Flynn, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Francisco J. García

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Galveston, TX

Ester Greenfield

MacDonald Hoague & Bayless
Seattle, WA

Richard A. Gump Jr.

The Law Offices of Richard A. Gump, Jr. P.C.
Dallas, TX

Mona Gupta

Gupta & Wiora, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Benjamin E. Johnson

American Immigration Lawyers Association
Washington, DC

Stacie Leigh Jonas

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Austin, TX

Kevin Robert Lashus

FisherBroyles LLP
Austin, TX

Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law
Austin, TX

Rebecca R. Massiatte

JMO Firm, PLLC
Dallas, TX

Feroz Farook Merchant

The Merchant Law Firm
Houston, TX

Imran B. Mirza

Law Office of Imran Mirza, PC
Houston, TX

Maggie Murphy

Jackson Lewis P.C.
Austin, TX

Patrick K. O'Rourke

Harry Gee & Associates, PLLC
Houston, TX

Ruby L. Powers

Powers Law Group, P.C.
Houston, TX

F. Andino Reynal

Fertitta Reynal LLP
Houston, TX

George Rodriguez

Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez

Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Nancy Taylor Shivers

Shivers & Shivers
San Antonio, TX

Kathleen C. Walker

Dickinson Wright
El Paso, TX

Jacqueline L. Watson

Walker-Gates Vela, PLLC
Austin, TX

Planning Committee

Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez—Co-Chair

Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Jacqueline L. Watson—Co-Chair

Walker-Gates Vela, PLLC
Austin, TX

Simon M. Azar-Farr

Simon Azar-Farr & Associates
San Antonio, TX

Laura F. Bachman

YWCA Tulsa
Tulsa, OK

Nicolas Chavez

Chavez & Valko, LLP
Fort Worth, TX

Michael J. Churgin

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Richard S. Fischer

Fischer & Fischer, Attorneys at Law
Nacogdoches, TX

Eugene J. Flynn

Eugene J. Flynn, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Francisco J. García

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Galveston, TX

Harry Gee Jr.

Harry Gee & Associates, PLLC
Houston, TX

Richard A. Gump Jr.

The Law Offices of Richard A. Gump, Jr. P.C.
Dallas, TX

Mona Gupta

Gupta & Wiora, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Joanna Jefferson

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Harry J. Joe

JMO Firm, PLLC
Dallas, TX

Judy J. Lee

Foster LLP
Houston, TX

Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law
Austin, TX

Anne D. Monahan

Law Office of Anne D. Monahan
San Antonio, TX

Paul Parsons

Paul Parsons, PC
Austin, TX

George Rodriguez

Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C.
Dallas, TX

Nancy Taylor Shivers

Shivers & Shivers
San Antonio, TX

Vanna Slaughter

Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Afffairs
Dallas, TX

Peter D. Williamson

Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry
Houston, TX

Sarah E. Woelk

Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services
Austin, TX

Edna Yang

American Gateways
Austin, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
You may claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of Texas. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided in Your Briefcase for your records. The system reports Texas CLE credit every Monday. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. You must claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and will then be provided a Certificate of Attendance for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to The Florida Bar at www.floridabar.org. You must claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and will then be provided a Certificate of Attendance for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You must claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and will then be provided a Certificate of Attendance for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Supreme Court of Louisiana Continuing Legal Education Committee within 30 days after the conference. 
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of New Mexico within 30 days after the conference. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records.
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You must claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and will then be provided a Certificate of Attendance for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the conference.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live conferences are presumptively approved by The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Accounting CPE Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Texas Accounting Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. Self-report your CPE credit directly to TSBPA. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
MCLE Credit
UT Law CLE will report credit to the State Bar of Texas on your behalf. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. Print and keep the Certificate of Completion for your records. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to The Florida Bar at www.floridabar.org. You must claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and will then be provided a Certificate of Attendance for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
To claim Louisiana MCLE credit, Louisiana credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to LSBA within 30 days after the conference.
UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of New Mexico within 30 days after the conference. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #169) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association for MCLE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Oklahoma MCLE credit, Oklahoma credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the webcast.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.
 
To claim Other States MCLE credit, Other States credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. You must claim your credit online in Your Briefcase, and will then be provided a Certificate of Attendance for your records. 

This accreditation requires attendance verification. UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.
MCLE credit is presented based on a 60-minute credit hour.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Texas Accounting CPE credit, the Texas Accounting CPE credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. Self-report your CPE credit directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Austin – Oct 26-27, 2017 – AT&T Conference Center
Conference Concluded
Live Webcast – Oct 26-27, 2017
Conference Concluded
Buy
Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Oct 18, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Oct 18, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Oct 18, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Oct 20, 2017

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: Oct 23, 2017
Live Webcast
Last day for Individual early registration: Oct 18, 2017

Add $0 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Oct 18, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Oct 18, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Oct 20, 2017

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: Oct 23, 2017

Venue

speaker

The University of Texas at Austin
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX
877.744.8822 (reservations)
Map

Accommodations

Special Room Rate: $189 good through October 10, 2017. Reference "Immigration Conference" when you call reservations or follow the link below. 
(subject to availability) 

Reservations: 
https://aws.passkey.com/go/UTLAWI1017

Parking Information

Free daily self-parking at UT garages. Separate fees apply for valet and overnight parking. 

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