A Conversation with Anastasia Tonello – AILA President


Anastasia Tonello

American Immigration Lawyers Association, Current President

Fastcase has partnered with the American Immigration Lawyers Association to publish the association’s new biannual journal starting in 2019. Read the press release here.

Everyone is talking about immigration these days, what would you say are the biggest challenges that AILA members are facing?

One of the biggest challenges AILA members face is overcoming the “invisible wall” being built by the current administration.  Many of the changes and issues our members are dealing with are not the result of legislative or regulatory changes, but small policy changes or changes in process that can be easily implemented by memo or even more often without any notice at all.  AILA is able to identify trends through our 15,000 members and provide the resources to fight these challenges.

What is AILA doing to help members overcome these challenges?

AILA members can count on AILA to provide in-depth, expert analysis on the constantly changing policies and procedures, to highlight trends from our 15,000 members, and to work with our partners to fight back when the government oversteps its authority.  We continue to have high-level liaison with many government agencies and are able to resolve many issues by bringing inconsistencies and errors to their attention.  Other issues require more aggressive techniques and AILA will sue the government when we need to.  AILA is also able to provide up-to-the-minute practice alerts and to organize late-breaking web seminars or telephonic conferences.  We have also just launched a new law journal to tackle some of the more in-depth academic issues and to help in the development and evolution of immigration law.

How will the new journal fit into AILA’s strategy?

The AILA Law Journal will offer readers a timely and practical perspective on the latest developments in immigration law, providing sophisticated insights to help both AILA and non-AILA members understand, interpret, and support thoughtful responses to a swiftly changing legal landscape, thereby supporting the mission of AILA to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.

How would you say immigration law touches other type of practices?

Due to the numerous and unforgiving grounds of removal and inadmissibility, criminal law and tax law have significant overlap with immigration.  Family law, corporate, securities, trusts and estates, and employment issues also arise and are interconnected.  In addition, given the administration aggressive, immigration-based regulatory agenda, administrative law is also an area that immigration lawyers need to understand.

#1 Legal Research App

Winner of the prestigious American Association of Law Libraries (New Product) Award, Fastcase for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone is used by more attorneys than any other legal app according to the ABA. Anyone may use the app for free to access Fastcase's comprehensive legal research database on the go.