Diversity Committee updates
Editor’s Note: Each year, the ISBA's diversity-related committees and section councils—consisting of the Standing Committees on Women and the Law, Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and Disability Law, as well as the Human Rights Section Council and the International Law and Immigration Section Council—are invited to share their group’s accomplishments and successes from the past year. Following are this year’s contributions.
International & Immigration Section Council
This year, the International Law & Immigration Section Council sponsored two important CLE seminars, and scheduled a third. In January 2018, we co-sponsored a program entitled "Six Months to GDPR—Are You Ready?" with Intellectual Property, the Business and Securities Section, and Corporate Law Department. This program discussed General Data Protection Regulation, effective in May 2018, designed to protect the identifiable information of all individuals within the European Union, and the impact on certain U.S. businesses. In February 2018, our popular Immigration Law Update program was given a new twist, focusing on reviewing the first year of the Trump administration. Panelists discussed the travel ban, DACA, Temporary Protected Status programs, and the impact of the "buy American, hire American" executive order on business immigration.
In the fall of 2018, the International Law & Immigration Section Council will present a CLE with the Cook County Bar Association and a Canadian law firm, Cambridge LLP, entitled “Cross-Border Litigation: Essential Considerations for U.S. Lawyers." We specifically examine contracting and enforcing obligations with Canadian businesses. We invite attendees from all disciplines to attend.
Additionally, the International Law & Immigration Section continued to be instrumental in sponsoring and providing feedback on proposed Illinois laws that impact international and/or immigration issues. Of note, the Illinois TRUST Act was passed this year, which codifies Illinois' status as a sanctuary state. The section council plans training and outreach for local law enforcement on this law. Further, we voted on laws advocating that immigration status not be considered when making licensing decisions, and myriad other laws relating to civil procedure, criminal procedure, and immigrants. We also continue outreach and training on the consular notification law, which Illinois adopted in 2015 and requires all Illinois law enforcement and judges to provide notice to arrested foreign nationals of their rights to have their home consulate informed, as is their right (and the duty of the U.S.) under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Each year, our section council reaches out to members of the Consulate Corps in Chicago, which are comprised of the 86 consulates general and honorary consulates located in Chicago. Our section council representatives provide a tour of the Cook County jail and criminal courts, so the Consular Corps become familiar with U.S. procedures and can assist their country's citizens when necessary. We also help them become familiar with certain essential civil court functions and administrative legal offices.
The Section Council continued its mission to reach out to Illinois law students to educate them about career opportunities in international and immigration law. Section Council members traveled to Northern Illinois University in the fall of 2017, and Washington University at St. Louis in the spring of 2018, to discuss their careers and answering student questions. SIU Professor Cindy Buys also coordinated the opportunity to teach Russian law students, which has been an ongoing effort for a number of years to educate Russian students about basic U.S. legal principles.
The section's newsletter, The Globe, published six editions in 2017-18. Articles were written by members of the section council, students interested in practicing international and immigration law, and other practitioners. A wide variety of subjects were covered, including immigration, international customs and trade, and international business. We invite submissions to our newsletter.
Our section council is comprised of very dedicated and active members. We welcome ISBA members who are interested in immigration and/or international law.
Michelle J. Rozovics is the Managing Attorney of the Rozovics Law Firm, LLC in Crystal Lake, Illinois. She is the 2017-18 chair of the International Law & Immigration Section Council.