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The American Heritage Awards is our annual gala where we celebrate the talents, contributions, and accomplishments of notable immigrants and their advocates. The gala is held during the American Immigration Lawyers Associations annual conference.

Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards

The American Immigration Council’s Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards is DC’s only annual event celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants and their advocates from around the country at an inspiring and thought-provoking awards ceremony. More than 300 immigrant attorneys, activists, advocates, members of Congress, Hill staff, administration and supporters of sensible, fair and smart immigration come together to celebrate the recipients of our Immigrant Achievement Award, Stephen K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award and Immigrant Youth Achievement Award. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Additionally we host several other Immigrant Achievement Awards around the country highlighting local outstanding immigrants and their advocates.

New York Immigrant Achievement Awards – More info coming soon!

Chicago Immigrant Achievement Awards – More info coming soon!

Tony Cook Memorial Golf Tournament

Every year the Council hosts a golf tournament at varying locations around the country in honor of Tony Cook. This tournament provides a great opportunity to relax, network, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The tournament is open to everyone, whether you’re a scratch golfer or haven’t hit the links in months. 

Each year, the American Immigration Council honors the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants and their advocates from around the country at our inspiring and thought-provoking award events. Our distinguished honorees have come from politics, music, television, sports, education and many other professional fields. Click here for a list of many of the outstanding individuals and organizations we have honored over the years.


Each year the American Immigration Council recognizes a young immigrant whose accomplishments are the embodiment of the immigrant spirit and show evidence of a commitment to making a positive impact in his or her community or the world around them.

We will launch the next contest in the winter 2017.

The Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest challenges fifth graders across the country to reflect on and write about the theme “Why I Am Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants.” The contest begins at the local level, with regional contests run by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) chapters. Each chapter sends its first place winning entry to the American Immigration Council for the national contest. The national winner reads his or her winning entry at the American Immigration Council’s American Heritage Awards in June.

Learn more about the contest.


For Attorneys

To enhance communication between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Chapters and the American Immigration Council, the Council created the Ambassador Program. Made up of AILA members from each Chapter, these Ambassadors help the Immigration Council share information, promote its events, distribute their research, and take the lead on community relation projects, among other tasks.

For more information on the Ambassador Program, contact Claudia Ornelas at cornelas (at)

Washington, DC

Zainab Alwan

zalwan (at)


Fae Sowders

fsowders (at)


Eric Fleischmann

ericf (at)


Jorgelina Araneda

info (at)

Central Florida

Art Rios

Michael Mendez    

Courtney Rineer 

art (at)

mmendez (at)

crineer (at)


Lauren McClure

Kendra Scheuerlein

lmcclure (at)

kscheuerlein (at)


Alyssa Reed 

alyssa (at)


Michael Boyle

mboyle (at)


Maile Hirota

maile.hirota (at)


Megan J. Kight

mkight (at)


Ross Pesek

Ross (at)

Latin America and Caribbean




Cynthia Nuñez

nunezcynthia (at) 





Ana Pottratz Acosta

ana.acosta (at)


Stephen Blower

Kenneth Schmitt

blowerlaw (at)

kschmitt (at)




New England

Leslie DiTrani

leslie (at)

New Jersey

Joyce Phipps

joyceantila (at)

New York

L. Batya Schwartz Ehrens

batyaehrens (at) 

Northern California

David Palmer

david (at)


Karen D. Bradley

karen (at)


Jennifer M. Rotman
John J. Dooney, III

jrotman (at)
john (at)


Katelyn M. Hufe

katelyn (at)


Mark Knapp

attorneymarkknapp (at)

Rome District

Allen Ladd

info (at)

San Diego

Diana Vellos Coker

diana (at)

Santa Clara

Sweta Khandelwal

sweta (at)

Southern California

John Manley

jmanleylaw (at)

Southern Florida

Juliana Lamardo

jlamardo (at)


Rick Gump

rick (at)

Upstate New York




J. Shawn Foster

jsfosterlaw (at)

Washington State

Elisa Ford

elisa (at)

Washington, D.C.

Brenda Oliver

Sonal Verma

boliver (at)

sverma (at)


Geoff Lacy

glacy (at)

The American Immigration Council regularly partners with private firms and nonprofit organization on our litigation.  Please contact us to explore potential opportunities to collaborate.

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