Learn about the latest issues in family-based immigrant visa consular processing from expert practitioners Ann Block and Tami Castillo, as well as ILRC attorney Ariel Brown. The webinar will include an update on public charge findings and I-601A revocation issues in light of changes to the FAM, as well as other recent developments. This session will provide tips on how to properly advise clients about issues related to medical exams, tattoos, gangs, controlled substance use, alien smuggling, and other issues.
Ann Block, ILRC Contract Attorney
Ann Block is a Contract Attorney with the ILRC based in Davis and San Francisco. She has been with the ILRC part-time since 2009, and also maintains a private practice in Davis, California. Ann has expertise in family immigration, naturalization and citizenship, VAWA and U visas, asylum, removal defense and extensive experience with immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She provides technical assistance through the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program, mentoring and assisting nonprofit attorneys and staff, public defenders and private attorneys with a wide variety of immigration law questions and cases. She has contributed to several ILRC manuals, including Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit; Naturalization & U.S. Citizenship; Inadmissibility and Deportability; The VAWA Manual; The “U” Visa; Hardship in Immigration Law; Families and Immigration; Inadmissibility and Deportability; FOIA Requests and Other Background Checks; and A Guide for Immigration Advocates Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit and has authored articles, presented webinars and served as a panelist on a number of immigration issues for the ILRC, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG).
Prior to the ILRC, Ann gained extensive private and nonprofit experience as a staff attorney for Park & Associates, Catholic Charities in San Mateo, the International Institute of San Francisco and her own solo private practice. Ann has additional teaching experience as a former adjunct professor at McGeorge School of Law, supervising the Immigration Clinic and teaching the podium course on Immigration Law. She has also served on the California State Bar’s Immigration and Nationality Law Commission (INLAC), the entity which certifies attorneys as immigration law specialists, including as both Vice-Chair and Chair of INLAC.
Ann earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis where she represented clients through the Prison Law Clinic and Immigration Law Clinic. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she double-majored in psychology and political science. Ann is admitted to the bar in California and is conversant in Spanish, with working knowledge of written French.
Ariel Brown, Law Fellow - Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Ariel Brown joined the ILRC in April 2017. After five years in private practice at a well-respected immigration firm in Sacramento, Schoenleber & Waltermire, PC, Ariel brings extensive practical experience to the ILRC. She has experience filing numerous immigration applications and regularly appearing before USCIS, ICE, and EOIR, with cases spanning the areas of removal defense, family-based adjustment of status and consular processing, DACA, naturalization, SIJS, U visas, and VAWA. She was also involved in establishing Sacramento’s rapid response network to respond to immigration enforcement action, and served as an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)-USCIS liaison.
Ariel contributes to the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day legal technical assistance program, as well as writing and updating practice advisories and manuals and presenting on family-based topics for ILRC webinars.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Ariel also briefly volunteered with the International Institute of the Bay Area in Oakland, and Catholic Charities of the East Bay in Richmond. In law school, Ariel was a student advocate with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, assisting with cancellation of removal cases for indigent noncitizens, and an editor for the Journal of International Law and Policy.
Ariel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in anthropology. Ariel is admitted to the state bar in California.
Tami Castillo, Attorney at Law – Considine, Sorensen & Trujillo
Tami Castillo attended law school at University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law where she participated in the Immigration Law Clinic. Her interest in immigration law however, was formed during her early career experiences. Immediately following undergrad Tami was accepted to the AFL-CIO organizing institute. She was trained as a union organizer and was quickly working full time as an International Organizer with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (H.E.R.E.) international union. She worked extensively throughout the Monterey Bay, Salinas Valley and Central California regions where she was immersed in the issues facing the immigrant community. She learned firsthand the barriers many families face when confronting the immigration process. Wanting to settle back in the Sacramento region, Tami accepted a position with the Rural California Housing Corporation as a Community Organizer. She worked to develop community based initiatives with predominately immigrant communities in refuge and farm worker housing complexes. Seeking more knowledge of the immigration process, Tami signed up for an advocacy course with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) which ultimately led to her working as a legal assistant with the present firm in 2002. She was encouraged to attend law school and began working as Of Counsel attorney with the firm in 2010. Tami is a member of the California State Bar, the American Immigration Law Association and of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. She presently serves as an AILA-USCIS Sacramento co-liaison. Tami regularly participates in community workshops, naturalization fairs, panels and school engagements. She is fluent in Spanish.