On April 17, 2015, Minami Tamaki LLP Partner Minette Kwok attended a national meeting of the board of trustees of the American Immigration Council, an organization that champions the contributions of immigrants to the American public and works to counteract the misleading and negative stereotypes about immigrants.
Minette joined the AIC board in 2012, continuing her service as a leader in the immigration bar. She has served as a Commissioner with the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization’s Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission; as Chair of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Northern California; and as Liaison to the Department of Labor, Region IX.
The AIC national board had a lively discussion on the fate of President Obama’s 2014 executive action intended to fix our broken immigration system, including the impact of an injunction issued by a federal judge in Texas against the presidential order. The board was not hopeful that comprehensive immigration reform would pass Congress this year.
Board members also shared thoughts on how immigration would impact the 2016 Presidential elections, and which constituencies and communities would impact the debate.
AIC staff and board members entertained ideas on how to best position the organization to have national impact given the stalemate in Congress on immigration reform. There was agreement at the meeting for ongoing litigation and advocacy on issues involving due process, access to counsel, abuses by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, family detention, and a timely response to states challenging the President’s executive action on immigration.
While in D.C., Minette also attended the 20th Annual D.C. Immigrant Achievement Awards, honoring Suzette Brooks Masters and the JM Kaplan Fund with the Stephen K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award, Armando Trull of radio station WAMU with the Immigrant Achievement Award, and Aditya Sood of Working Together for Change with the Immigrant Youth Achievement Award.
“After three years on the AIC national board of trustees, I’m amazed at the work of the organization on the cutting edge of immigration law and policy, “said Minette. “Its leadership and staff represent all that is outstanding, forward thinking, and compassionate within the immigration bar.”