Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Immigration Law

Alen Takhsh of Takhsh Law, P.C. discusses the implications of traveling abroad for Green Card holders.

Chicago area immigration attorneys have reportedly seen an uptick in both demand for their services and immigration scams ( Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a press release warning immigrant communities about potential fraud ( Her office recently sued southwest suburb-based Norma Bonilla, who is accused of immigration fraud ( Bonilla has allegedly defrauded at least four people who were seeking immigration law services. Bonilla is not an attorney.

How do people fall prey to these scams? In some cases, their misunderstanding based on the legal conventions of their native cultures may lead them to fall victim to the unauthorized practice of law.

In some countries, for example, notaries ("notarios") are authorized to provide some basic legal services, while in the U.S. they are merely authorized to witness signatures. As such, it is understandable that some immigrants may assume that a notary can assist them with legal services, including immigration services. According to an FAQ published by the ISBA Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law, in addition to licensed attorneys, not-for-profit entities registered with the Board of Immigration Appeals can provide immigration law services (

Find out more in the June Illinois Bar Journal.

The ABA Futures Initiative and the association's Center for Innovation have created, a portal for attorneys and others responding to President Trump's executive order on immigration (now stayed by a restraining order). People interested in volunteering legal or language expertise can sign up there to work on behalf of affected immigrants. Attorneys and others can also find information on the travel ban and other immigration-related issues, such as habeas corpus and detention. Find our more from the ABA Journal.

Another new website, Airport Lawyer, connects travelers affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban with free lawyers who can help them. The ABA Journal has more.

In 2014, President Obama announced that he was using his executive authority to make significant changes to the immigration system. Over the past 10 months, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State have announced new regulations relevant to business immigration, the availability of visa numbers, the citizenship process, and other areas of U.S. immigration. Join us for a live webcast on January 22, 2016 that offers an in-depth look at the changes that have already taken place, as well as those that are coming soon. Topics include: work authorization requirements to certain H-4s; new policy guidance on the specialized knowledge worker visa (L-1B); changes to the Visa Bulletin that provide earlier filing dates for adjustment applications; credit card payments for citizenship applications; new parole admission category for entrepreneurs; new guidance on the availability of National Interest Waivers for entrepreneurs; and the publication of a new OPT regulation for F-1 STEM students. A discussion on the status of other significant programs involving executive action in the courts is also included, as well as a review of important U.S. Supreme Court and other federal decisions that will affect your practice.

Gain a better understanding of how President Obama's new executive action could impact your employer clients who are dealing with an influx of newly work-authorized employees. Labor and employment attorneys, general counsel, and immigration lawyers who attend this online seminar on Thursday, January 15, 2015 will learn: how the executive action may impact employers with older employees who present new documents securing deferred action; how the executive order will impact an employer's honesty policy; the steps employers need to take with I-9s; whether or not employers can decide not to work with any Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) eligible individuals in an effort to reduce liability or because of opposition to the executive action; and much more! The program is presented by the ISBA International & Immigration Law Section and qualifies for 1.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of the Chief Counsel in Chicago, Illinois, is responsible for providing legal advice, training and services in cases related to the ICE mission in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin.  The office represents the United States in immigration removal proceedings, and provides legal support to ICE components focusing on customs, worksite enforcement, employment law, and administrative law.  Legal externs assist in the representation of the United States government in immigration removal proceedings.

Legal Extern Location: Chicago, Illinois

Application Materials: Resume, transcript, writing sample, and cover letter indicating dates when available.  Applications should be submitted to  All electronically submitted documents must be in MSWord or Adobe Acrobat format. 

Qualifications: First-year (second semester) and second-year law students.  Previous or concurrent course work in immigration law helpful, but not necessary.  Must be a U.S. citizen.  Will be subject to a background investigation due to the sensitive nature of the work performed.

Application Deadline: For Spring of 2014: Applications will be accepted between August 15, and September 30, 2013.

Minimum Weeks Required: 10 weeks minimum, 15 - 20 hours per week. 

Salary: Volunteer (without compensation).