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Vedder Thinking | News Gabrielle Buckley Named to ABA Commission on Immigration

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Gabrielle M. Buckley, Chair of the Business Immigration group at Vedder Price, was appointed by Carolyn B. Lamm, President of the American Bar Association, to its Commission on Immigration.

Ms. Buckley has over 25 years of experience counseling U.S.- and foreign-based organizations with regard to all aspects of employment-related immigration laws. Her practice involves assisting clients with immigration compliance and training; obtaining work authorization for employees in the U.S. and abroad, and ensuring that key employees are not affected by corporate mergers and acquisitions.

The ABA’s 13-member Commission on Immigration directs the Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States. The Commission develops and implements immigration-related policy for the ABA, and advocates for changes in the law. It also provides continuing education to the bar and the public, and creates and assists the operation of pro bono programs to assist vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations.

At the ABA’s Midyear Meeting earlier this month, the ABA adopted a number of the Commission’s policy recommendations that would reform the manner in which the nation’s immigration caseload is administered. This includes a recommendation that new, independent immigration courts be created. Today, immigration matters are heard by judges who are not part of the federal judicial branch, but are employees of the Office of the U.S. Attorney General. The Commission and its supporters cite its recently-released 18-month study of the current adjudication system, noting that immigration judges are overwhelmed, handling three times the load of a federal judge. Appeals from these decisions have flooded the federal circuit courts of appeal, with some circuits seeing 35% - 40% of their caseload comprised of immigration cases.

“There are numerous reasons why we need to move forward with changing the way in which justice is administered in these matters,” stated Ms. Buckley. “The current system lacks independence, fairness and efficiency.”

Ms. Buckley is the immediate past chair of the International Bar Association’s Immigration Nationality Committee, and is a former chair of the Immigration Nationality Committee of the ABA’s Section of International Law. She currently serves as the Section’s Liaison Officer, and is a member of its Council and Executive Committee.