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Thursday September 7, 2023
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

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U.S. CITIZENSHIP: WHY IT TAKES "BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS”
(ESTA NO TIENE FIN: THIS HAS NO END)

 

The Rotary Club of Houston is proud to present as its September 7th program, a discussion between Charles Foster, famed Immigration Attorney and advisor to several U.S. Presidents, in conversation with Regina Lankenau, Princeton graduate, Houston Chronicle Asst. Op-Ed Editor, about Regina and her family's travails as they tried to gain U.S. citizenship. It would be a perfect story if Regina and her family's path to citizenship was an easy stroll.  In actuality the country that had been so welcoming would one day reject her entirely.  Five years after the family arrived in Texas and applied for permanent residency, they received a letter announcing that the green card application had been denied, giving the family 180 days to leave the United States or be branded as Illegals-all based on a technicality.  So, the family returned to Mexico feeling "tainted, humiliated and worse just as Regina had received her acceptance to Princeton University.

Regina's story is just one of the millions of stories of families, individuals, seeking to enter the U.S.  A few like Regina and her family, will gain entrance by navigating the U.S. Bureaucracy, but most who attempt the process try to cross over illegally at the U.S-Mexico border divided by the Rio Grande River-one of the most dangerous ways to enter the U.S. Most face starvation, extreme heat, kidnappers, bandits, corrupt officials, being shipped to huge U.S. cities, exploitation by drug cartels and by some estimates, 60% of children who cross are caught by cartels and exploited for child pornography and drug trafficking.

Please invite your friends to this very important discussion from two experts in the field.

Thanks for participating. 

Joseph Colangelo
Co-Chair, Program Committee 

 

Regina Lankenau: Assistant Op-ed Editor for the Houston Chronicle's opinion desk, in charge of editing op-eds and letters to the editor. As part of the editorial board, she helps shape editorials and political endorsements and writes some on occasion. She writes a weekly newsletter column inspired by letters to the editor that comes out on Thursdays and touches on topics as varied as the fentanyl crisis, the menace of leaf blowers and the nuances of physician-assisted suicide.

Regina is a native of Monterrey, Mexico and grew up all over – Vienna, Warsaw, Mexico City, Laredo, and Houston, where she attended Klein Oak High School. She most recently worked as a features reporter at a British expat newspaper in Spain. She also co-founded a business providing editing and mentoring for Hispanic immigrants applying to U.S. colleges.

Regina has a degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, where she wrote for the daily paper and co-founded the school’s only international affairs publication. She also collected resettled refugees’ oral histories and worked with immigration lawyers and academic experts to provide more detailed country and area-specific information in support of asylum cases from Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. She speaks Spanish, French and Italian. 

 

CHARLES FOSTER: Chairman of Foster LLP, based in Houston with offices in Houston, Dallas and Austin. Recognized as a Best Lawyer in America, practice primarily representing multinational companies and foreign investors regarding U.S. immigration law. Charles heads up one of the largest immigration practices in the nation.

Charles has dedicated much of his career to the improvement of his community, serving as senior immigration policy advisor to President George W. Bush, immigration policy advisor to President. Barack Obama, He is the founding Chair of the Immigration & Nationality Law Section of the State bar of Texas, Chairs of Texas Governor’s Task Force on Immigration, chaired various committees on Immigration with Greater Houston Partnership, Governor’s Task Force on Immigration, The American Bar Assn., The State Bar of Texas Immigration committees and was past National President of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn.

Charles has the distinction of having a Hollywood actor, Kyle MacLachlan plays him in a hit movie, Mao's Last Dancer.  The1981 movie discusses famed Chinese Ballet Dancer, Li Cunxin, who decided to stay in America rather than being repatriated back to China by Chairman Mao and sought Charles' advice to help him gain release from the Chinese Consulate in Houston.