DB: Where are you?
BM: At the National Harbor in Baltimore. I am the 2015 forum chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. It’s an annual conference that draws lawyers and law professors from around the world. The first day we focused, in part, on embassy tours in Washington, D.C. We visited embassies for Australia, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and others, and we met the top foreign consul generals.
DB: What else is offered?
BM: We provide the latest information on global immigration law and policy. We network with the top U.S. and international lawyers in immigration. It’s a major conference, with sessions presented by international immigration attorneys. We also listened to a keynote speech from Ambassador Michele T. Bond, principal deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.
DB: What did she say?
BM: She provided updates on the latest policy measures, and she addressed the (recent) technical computer problems at the State Department. (It caused) worldwide delays in U.S. visa issuances at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. At the time, there (was) a complete halt of visas, and they (did) get the problem fixed in another week or so.
DB: What else is going on?
BM: We hosted a consular panel with foreign service officers from Australia, France, Canada, and Mexico. There also were panels that discussed ethics, relocation, global compliance, and global migration. If you’re setting up offices in China, Europe, or South America, you need to know the immigration laws. Tonight we’ll be attending the American Immigration Consul Annual Dinner. Our overall mission is to help U.S. businesses seeking talent from around the world, as well as U.S. families seeking permanent residence for close family members. db