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Conversations

Immigration, COVID-19, and the 2020 Election

October 27, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial impact on the U.S. immigration system. Embassy closures and travel restrictions have kept families apart and prevented companies from hiring and retaining essential foreign employees. Further, in an attempt to appease its supporters in advance of the 2020 election, the Trump Administration has signed a series of Executive Orders placing additional restrictions on immigration to the U.S.

On October 27, 2020, FOLCS hosted a discussion on how immigration policy has been conducted during the pandemic. The evening featured a diverse group of experts, including Victoria Neilson, Managing Attorney of CLINIC, a legal defense fund for immigrants, and the former chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association; Sanjay Sethi, Managing Partner at Sethi & Mazaheri LLC; and Negar Mortazavi, an associate at Berry Appleman & Leiden.

CLE Credit was made available for this event. Any questions, please email Shervin Abachi: shervin.abachi@folcs.org.

The information provided by FOLCS and its guests in this program should be used for general information purposes only. Nothing in this program is or should be construed as legal advice.

 

This Webinar was co-sponsored by the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

 

Sanjay Sethi
Co-managing Partner, Sethi & Mazaheri

Sanjay Sethi is the co-managing partner at Sethi & Mazaheri, LLC, practicing in a wide range of areas, including family-based green cards, asylum, removal defense, Federal Court litigation, and appeals. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University, his Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, and his JD from the University of Miami School of Law. He also earned a Certificate in Russian and East-Central European Studies from Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University. Sanjay is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and the Southern District of New York. Recently, Sanjay co-founded the Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing legal services and resettlement assistance to artists who are censored or persecuted in their countries of origin. He is currently serving as the interim Executive Director for AFI, where he has built and managed AFI’s legal program providing pro bono services globally to over one hundred artists at risk. Prior to founding Sethi & Mazaheri and AFI, Sanjay served as a prosecutor in Union County, New Jersey, and a law clerk in the criminal division of the New Jersey Superior Court. Sanjay’s interest in and commitment to public service are rooted in his work experience at the United Nations Children’s Fund and the International Labour Organization in Moscow, Russia, as well as at Columbia University’s Public Interest Law Initiative in Budapest, Hungary, where he served as a Research Fellow.Mr. Sethi received his BA from Northwestern University, his MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, and his JD from the University of Miami School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. As an Indian-American Lawyer, Mr. Sethi remains active in the South Asian
community.

Victoria Neilson
Managing Attorney, Catholic Legal Immigration Network

Victoria Neilson is managing attorney of the Defending Vulnerable Populations Program at Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). She is the former legal director of the Immigrant Justice Corps and Immigration Equality, where her practice focused on the intersection of LGBT issues and immigration law. Ms. Neilson has also worked for the Office of Chief Counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the New York Asylum Office and is the former legal director of the HIV Law Project. She has taught as an adjunct professor at City University of New York School of Law and at New York University School of Law. She is the former chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association; the former co-chair of the Ethics Committee of the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); and a member of AILA’s national Asylum Committee. She is a co-author of AILA’s Representing Clients in Immigration Court. Ms. Neilson received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law and her B.A. from Harvard University.

Negar Mortazavi
Associate, Berry Appleman & Leiden

Negar is an Associate at Berry Appleman & Leiden’s New York City office. Negar represents multinational companies and organizations in nonimmigrant and immigrant visa matters. She provides strategic advice on how to best maneuver the complexities of the US immigration system.

Prior to joining BAL, Negar represented large healthcare corporations and J-1 physicians in their immigration needs. She also focused her practice on complex consular matters representing clients in various consulates around the world. Negar is an active member of the Iranian-American Bar Association and has participated in various pro bono projects representing clients in refugee and asylum matters both in the United States and abroad.