Rekha Sharma-Crawford Elected First Ever S.Asian Secretary Of American Immigration Lawyers Association
India-West Staff Reporter
KANSAS CITY, MO – Rekha Sharma-Crawford, an immigration attorney based here, has become the first South Asian American Secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for 2023-2024.
AILA, a national association of immigration lawyers, aims to advocate for fair immigration law and policy, promote justice, enhance the quality of immigration law practice, and support the professional development of its more than 17,000 members worldwide.
Expressing her gratitude, Sharma-Crawford on June 22 said, “I am honored to represent the South Asian American voice on AILA’s Executive Committee. It is a tremendous opportunity, and I am excited about the work that lies ahead.” She emphasized the importance of having diverse representation, stating, “According to the Pew Research Center, Asian Americans have roots in over 20 countries, and it was high time for us to have a seat at the table.”
Sharma-Crawford, born in India and raised in the US, practices law alongside her husband, Michael, at Sharma-Crawford Attorneys-at-Law. As a nationally recognized expert in immigration law, she frequently handles cases involving affirmative immigration benefits before Federal Courts and Courts of Appeals in multiple Circuits. In recognition of her exceptional work, she received the AILA Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award in 2021 for advancing the practice of immigration law. The Kansas Bar Association also honored her in 2018 with the Courageous Attorney Award for demonstrating exceptional bravery in the face of adversity.
In 2012, she co-founded a nonprofit law clinic dedicated to providing legal representation to indigent individuals facing removal in the Kansas City Immigration Court. The clinic, known as the Clinic at Sharma Crawford, has assisted thousands of clients, offering much-needed low bono and pro bono services.
Sharma-Crawford is an Adjunct Professor teaching Immigration Law at the University of Kansas School of Law and Washburn University School of Law. She is also the author of the children’s book “Aaliyah the Brave, Empowering Children Coping with Immigration Enforcement.”