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When Termination Can’t Be Avoided -- Practical Immigration Strategies to Maintain Compliance

Sponsor(s):  BAL

When Termination Can’t be Avoided – Practical Immigration Strategies to Maintain Compliance, Avoid Audits

Decisions to terminate employees often do not contemplate the impact on an employer’s obligations under immigration laws and regulations. Adding to the complexity, employers may seek to terminate employees who are in the U.S. but have lost their work authorization, as well as those who are abroad, whether traveling, on assignment, or stuck outside the U.S. because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. This informative, interactive session arms employers with practical strategies to maintain compliance, especially I-9 compliance, in order to avoid or successfully navigate government audits.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Best practices during an employee’s temporary loss of work authorization under Form I-9 rules.
  • Your company’s obligations when terminating employees who are traveling or are on assignment abroad.
  • Legal and practical considerations when terminating foreign national employees.

CE Credit (fees may apply):  CRP GMS

The Speakers

Former Chief Counsel, Western Division, USCIS

Kelli Duehning



Kelli Duehning is a Partner in the San Francisco office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP and a member of the firm’s Government Strategies team. Kelli joined BAL after a 17-year career with the Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Kelli managed the Western Law Division of USCIS and was responsible for developing and coordinating all legal strategies in the western United States. In addition to serving as a USCIS attorney, Kelli worked as an immigration officer in the Overseas Refugee program in Nairobi, Kenya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and various locations in Thailand. She was the Acting Field Office Director in Beijing, China, and New Delhi, India, and was an Adjudications Officer in Bangkok, Thailand.


Carla Tarazi

Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Carla Tarazi also is a Partner in the San Francisco Office of BAL. Carla formulates and implements comprehensive immigration programs, delivering real solutions to real challenges for some of the largest multinational Fortune 500 companies. She provides strategic direction and implements best practices for clients in the information technology, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries.

Carla focuses on all aspects of employment-based immigration, policy design and program management to align with clients’ global business objectives. She and her legal teams enable global mobility professionals to optimize their companies’ worldwide immigration programs. Carla is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has lived abroad in the Middle East and Europe.

Carla earned her law degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law and holds a BS in Finace form the University of San Francisco. She joined BAL in 1998.



Matt Gross

Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Matt Gross is a Partner in the Dallas office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. He focuses his practice on business immigration law matters involving the recruitment, hiring, transfer, and retention of international workers. Matthew has substantial experience advising employers on Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance.

He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, major universities, investors, and foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. Prior to joining BAL, Matthew worked at a boutique immigration law firm and focused his practice on employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa matters, investor visas, and worksite compliance.

Matt earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law and holds a BA in Government form the University of Texas at Austin. He joined BAL in 2013.