Date and Time:
02/21/2024 11:00am to 12:30pm PST
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 11:00am
1.5 CA & TX
This webinar will cover thorny issues in U practice, including U visa waivers and strategies for responding to RFEs on criminal arrests and convictions. We will also cover how to address grounds of inadmissibility discovered or triggered after filing as well as after approval. We will end with a discussion of U visa applicants in removal proceedings.
Alison Kamhi, Legal Program Director - ILRC
Alison Kamhi is the Legal Program Director based in San Francisco. Alison is a dedicated immigrant advocate who brings significant experience in immigration law to the ILRC. Alison leads the ILRC's Immigrant Survivors Team and conducts frequent in-person and webinar trainings on naturalization and citizenship, family-based immigration, U visas, and FOIA requests. She also provides technical assistance through the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program on a wide range of immigration issues, including immigration options for youth, consequences of criminal convictions for immigration purposes, removal defense strategy, and eligibility for immigration relief, including family-based immigration, U visas, VAWA, DACA, cancellation of removal, asylum, and naturalization. She has co-authored a number of publications, including The U Visa: Obtaining Status for Immigrant Victims of Crimes (ILRC); FOIA Requests and Other Background Checks (ILRC); Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship (ILRC); Hardship in Immigration Law (ILRC); Parole in Immigration Law (ILRC); Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Other Immigration Options for Children and Youth (ILRC); A Guide for Immigrant Advocates (ILRC); and Most In Need But Least Served: Legal and Practical Barriers to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for Federally Detained Minors, 50 Fam. Ct. Rev. 4 (2012).Alison facilitates the eight member Collaborative Resources for Immigrant Services on the Peninsula (CRISP) collaborative in San Mateo County to provide immigration services to low-income immigrants in Silicon Valley. Prior to the ILRC, Alison worked as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic, where she supervised removal defense cases and immigrants' rights advocacy projects. Before Stanford, she represented abandoned and abused immigrant youth as a Skadden Fellow at Bay Area Legal Aid and at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York. While in law school, Alison worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, and Greater Boston Legal Services Immigration Unit. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Julia Gibbons in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.Alison received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Stanford University. Alison is admitted to the bar in California and New York. She speaks German and Spanish.
Jennefer Canales-Pelaez, Texas Policy Attorney & Strategist - ILRC
Jennefer joined the ILRC in 2022. Jennefer has advocated for immigrant rights from the age of 11 when she advocated for her father’s immigration status to the President at the time, George W. Bush. Although her father was ultimately deported, Jennefer dedicated her life and career to ensuring that no one else experiences the trauma she felt at the age of 11.She graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Sociology in 2012 and earned her Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School in 2016. Jennefer is a member of the State Bar of Texas and California. She is also admitted in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jennefer has been involved with ICE out of LA, Southwestern Immigration Law Clinic, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Immigrant Defenders Law Center (IMMDEF), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and worked with the Los Angeles Immigration Court. Jennefer is a former board member and co-president of the National Lawyers Guild-LA Chapter, former Apen Ideas Scholar and KIPP Accelerator. After moving back to her hometown, Houston, Texas in 2019, she represented survivors of gender-based violence at Tahirih Justice Center prior to joining the ILRC. Jennefer was nominated as one of Houston’s Unsung Heros in 2020 and is a current KIPP Texas board member.
Kate Mahoney, Senior Staff Attorney - ILRC
Kate joined the ILRC as a Senior Staff Attorney in 2023 after over a decade of experience fighting deportation in a variety of roles. Kate believes that the movement for immigrants’ liberation must be led by those most impacted, and she is humbled and constantly learning from the courageous clients and advocates whom she supports. Kate specializes in complex removal defense on behalf of detained and non-detained clients, including challenging removability, motions to suppress, applications for relief before USCIS and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and federal court litigation and appeals. Kate previously served as Legal Program Director at Dolores Street Community Services in San Francisco, where she worked closely with community partners in the Bay Area to coordinate and expand legal services for local residents facing deportation and immigration detention. In addition to direct representation, Kate also previously served as the Court-Appointed Special Monitor in Franco Gonzalez v. Holder, Case No. 10-2211 (C.D. Cal. 2010), and as a law clerk to the Honorable Dolly M. Gee in the Central District of California and at the San Francisco Immigration Court.Kate received her law degree from U.C. Hastings College of the Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University. She is admitted to practice in California, immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Northern District of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She speaks Spanish and English.