By Judge (Retired) Paul Wickham Schmidt
It is very important for the U.S. immigration Court to be represented at the IARLJ World Conference in Athens at the end of November. With all the focus on U.S. immigration issues in the news, it is more important than ever that we communicate with and share perspectives with our “brethren” throughout the world. The IARLJ Conference is always a first-class event with fantastic educational programs and many opportunities to meet administrative and constitutional judges engaged in various phases of refugee claim adjudication throughout the world.
The IARLJ is a great organization. Then Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creepy (now an Appellate Immigration Judge & BIA Member) and I were among the founding members of the IARLJ in the late 1990s. I am currently a Vice President, Americas. However, because of previous commitments, I unfortunately will be unable to attend the Athens Conference.
I encourage all U.S. Immigration Judges, current and former, to attend. You do not have to be a member of the IARLJ to attend, although I also encourage everyone to join (whether or not you attend the Conference). The IARLJ is like a “worldwide NAIJ” working to further justice and to protect the independence of the judicial process globally. Our friend and colleague the late great Hon. Juan P. Osuna was active in the IARLJ and his untimely death was mourned by many of our colleagues worldwide.
Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be interested in attending or want additional information. I can put you directly in touch with Judge Katelijne Declerck, President of the IARLJ.