News & Insights

Kathleen Campbell Walker Receives Prestigious Founders Award from AILA

June 11, 2014

Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated today announced that shareholder Kathleen Campbell Walker will receive the Founders Award at the National Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) on June 21, 2014 in Boston.

The Founders Award is not awarded by the association every year, but is given to the person or entity who has “had the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy in the preceding period.” The award was established in 1950 and was last awarded in 2008. Previous recipients have included: President Harry S. Truman, the Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, the Hon. William O. Douglas, the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr., and August R. Lindt (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees).

“The AILA Founders Award is bestowed infrequently and only to exceptional individuals and entities. We could think of no one more deserving than Kathleen,” said T. Douglas Stump, president of AILA. “Kathleen’s dedication to fair and just immigration laws and her selfless efforts on AILA’s behalf are indeed exceptional. We are extremely pleased that she is receiving the national recognition she deserves.”

Kathleen is internationally recognized for her experience handling the complex issues related to business immigration, consular processing, admissibility and immigration security issues. In addition to immigration and nationality law, she has advocated and testified at local, state, and federal levels for: immigration reform, as well as the improvement of national border security infrastructure and procedures, consular processing and admission procedures for foreign nationals, and the provision of pro bono immigration services and detention standards. She was selected to serve on the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was chaired by former Governor Jeb Bush and former White House chief of staff Thomas (Mack) McLarty. As former president of the El Paso Foreign Trade Association, she helped to coordinate efforts to establish the first dedicated commuter lane in the state of Texas.

Board certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Kathleen has served the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in many leadership positions including as national president, general counsel, and Chair of the National Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of State (DOS), Documentation and Worksite Enforcement, and Interagency Liaison Committees. She is the past-Chair of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce and also served as Chair of the Border Relations Committee for the city of El Paso. She was recognized in 2012 as the “Go To” Lawyer in Immigration Law for the state of Texas by Texas Lawyer, which makes selections only every five years. In 2013 and 2014, she was listed by Chambers USA as the only attorney in Texas ranked as a Star Individual, which is superior to a Band One ranking. She is also listed in the Chambers Global publication in Band One for Immigration Law.