Workplace Immigration Reform: Why YOUR Voice Matters sponsored by Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Session Sponsor: 

This session is sponsored by Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP.

With the elections fast approaching, what are the prospects for workplace immigration reform and what agency actions are coming? Understand how YOU can influence these policies today. In what’s sure to be a lively State of Play conversation, key government officials and business thought leaders will discuss the legislation, regulations and policies at the center of it all that will impact employers’ access to global talent and your organization’s bottom line.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Betsy Lawrence


Betsy Lawrence is Counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship of the House Judiciary Committee.  Prior to this, she served as Director of Government Relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Washington, DC where she directed AILA’s agency and legislative advocacy efforts surrounding immigration benefits issues with an emphasis on employment-based immigration. Prior to joining AILA in 2008, she was an associate attorney at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale in San Francisco where she represented clients with respect to all matters involving immigration and nationality law (business, family, asylum, removal defense). She has also served as an editor on several editions of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook, as well as the 2010-11 Edition of AILA’s Navigating the Fundamentals of Immigration Law. She earned her JD from the University of San Francisco and is admitted to practice in California.

Lynden Melmed


Lynden Melmed is a partner with Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP and oversees the firm’s compliance and government affairs practices. Before joining BAL, Lynden served as Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that agency’s highest ranking legal position. As Chief Counsel of USCIS, Lynden managed a legal program of approximately 130 attorneys and was a key advisor to senior leadership within USCIS, DHS, the White House, and other federal agencies on all aspects of immigration law.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Counsel, Lynden served as Special Counsel to Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), who at that time was Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship. In that capacity, he was actively involved in oversight of federal immigration agencies and played a leading role in drafting and managing the comprehensive immigration legislation that passed the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Today, Lynden counsels corporate clients on complex immigration matters, assists businesses in establishing and managing global immigration programs, and represents businesses in connection with audits and investigations by the federal government. He has served as immigration counsel in connection with several of the largest immigration investigations ever pursued by the federal government.

Tammy M. Meckley


Tammy M. Meckley has over 20 years of experience with U.S. Federal Government in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, as well as service in the private sector, serving in key executive positions. Tammy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from George Mason University.

As a senior executive, Tammy is the Associate Director (AD), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration Records and Identity Services Directorate (IRIS), formerly known as the Enterprise Services Directorate (ESD). She leads the Identity and Information Management Division, Verification Division and the National Records Center. She is responsible for providing stakeholders with timely and appropriate access to trusted immigration information in support of the missions and goals of USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This includes leading USCIS’ eProcessing initiative that will automate the entire immigration benefit application and adjudication system, managing the E-Verify and SAVE programs, and overseeing the largest FOIA program in the federal government. Tammy leads almost 1,000 federal employees and manages an annual program budget of ~$448 million. She challenges her team to think creatively about how IRIS can continuously enhance operational, customer, and employee efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to becoming the AD, Tammy served a four year term as the Deputy Associate Director for ESD.

Stephen Tausend


Stephen Tausend serves as Legislative Director for Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). He manages all policy operations for the Senator including his roles as Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration, Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Stephen previously served as Senior Counsel to Senator Cornyn on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he advised the Senator on immigration, border security, and criminal justice. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (J.D.) and East Carolina University (B.A.), where he served as a team captain of the Track and Cross Country teams.

Congressional Ballroom A
Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
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