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Immigration Attorney Selected to Chair Key Committee

June 26, 2006
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has appointed Tonkon Torp attorney Turid L. Owren chair of a liaison committee that oversees adjudication and processing of immigration petitions. The committee of eight lawyers reviews petitions filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) Nebraska Service Center.

The center is one of five operated by the CIS to process petitions filed by companies and individuals seeking nonimmigrant and immigrant benefits. The liaison committee handles inquiries from immigration attorneys nationally who require follow up on cases filed with the USCIS Nebraska Service Center, and meets regularly with service center staff to review adjudication trends and concerns. Beginning last month, nearly all immigrant petitions are initially filed with the Nebraska Service Center.

"Given the heightened interest in immigration issues today, chairing the liaison committee provides an opportunity to work toward a fair and consistent process for adjudication of immigration petitions," said Owren. "This is particularly important considering that the Nebraska Service Center is often considered by companies and practitioners to be the strictest in its adjudication standards."

AILA has also asked Owren to serve on its faculty at a 2006 fall conference in New York, where she will join chairs of other Service Center committees to speak on liaison initiatives.

Owren heads the immigration practice group at Tonkon Torp, where she advises both companies and individuals on employment-related immigration. A graduate of Reed College and Lewis and Clark Law School, she has practiced immigration law since 1988 and is listed in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in immigration law.