Kathleen C Walker

Kathleen C. Walker

Member and Immigration Practice Group Co-Chair

Kathleen Campbell Walker is a prior national president and general counsel to the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has practiced business immigration law for more than thirty years. She is one of 11 lawyers in the United States ranked in Band One by the Chambers and Partners independent lawyer ranking service in its Global Guide. Some of her reviewers’ comments:

Sources say that she is "an excellent lawyer" who is "proactive in terms of helping clients and has an intimate knowledge of consular processing matters worldwide."

"She's extremely knowledgeable and she's also effective and that's an important element."

One admiring peer effuses: ‘She’s smart as all get-out–one lawyer I would co-counsel with in a heartbeat or send a matter to.’”

Clients quoted in Chambers USA 2016 describe her as "an extremely bright and hard-working attorney," whose "knowledge is extensive, and experience, connections and ability to achieve success is unparalleled."

Our job is to solve our clients’ problems and to make life easier. We do that by being zealous in our practice of and dedication to cutting edge level excellence in the practice of immigration law [or …in the immigration law practice]. We love what we do and deliver ethical and caring service. Kathleen has testified multiple times before Congress on border security and immigration policy as well. In 2014, she received the Founder’s Award from AILA, which is awarded from time to time to the person or entity who has had the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy in the preceding period (established 1950).

Kathleen Campbell Walker is a Member at the Dickinson Wright El Paso Office. She is known internationally as a leader in the field of immigration law. In addition to advising clients on the complex issues related to business immigration, she advocates at local, state, and federal levels for immigration reform, the improvement of national border security infrastructure and procedures, consular processing and admission procedures for foreign nationals, and improvement in the provision of pro bono immigration services and detention standards.

Kathleen Walker’s immigration law practice focuses on business and family-based immigration, consular processing, employer sanctions/ worksite enforcement, immigration audits, security checks, waivers, admissibility, and citizenship and naturalization. Her clients include hospitals and other healthcare providers, major global manufacturing companies, energy and energy service companies, defense contractors, construction companies, real estate and finance firms, cities, hospitality and hospitality service companies, agricultural businesses, professional employer organizations, educational institutions, convenience store businesses, food service franchisees, investors and entrepreneurs, ranches, equestrians, performing artists, families, and individuals. She is board certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Kathleen has served in multiple, national leadership roles in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), including as AILA’s national president in 2007-2008. She currently continues to serve on its Board of Governors as well as on the national Business Immigration Response Team and the National Customs and Border Protection liaison committee for 2017.

In 2013, she served as chair of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce and as chair of the Border Relations Committee for the City of El Paso. She was selected to serve on the Council of Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was chaired by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former White House Chief of Staff Thomas F. (Mack) McLarty.

Education & Credentials


Texas Tech University

B.A., 1982
  • with highest honors

The University of Texas School of Law

J.D., 1985

Bar Admission

  • Texas

Spoken Languages

  • French
  • Spanish


  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Named a Leading Immigration Lawyer by Chambers USA (2011 – 2018); Immigration Star Individual (2013 – 2017); Business Immigration - Band 1 (2008 –2010, 2013 - 2017)
  • Texas Tech University College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award (2017)
  • Chambers Global, Immigration: Business - USA, Band 1 (2008 – 2010, 2014, 2016 – 2017); "Leading Immigration Lawyer" (2008 – 2010)
  • Named the "Go-To Immigration Lawyer" in the 2012 Texas Lawyer "Go-To-Guide"
  • Included in inaugural edition of the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers (2011)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for Immigration Law (1991 – Present)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Service Excellence Award (2010); Recipient of two AILA Presidential Commendations for Service
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers for Immigration Law (2003 – Present)
  • International Who's Who Legal, Corporate Immigration (2006 – Present)
  • International Who's Who Legal, "Business Lawyers" (2003 – Present)

Prominent Assignments

Congressional Testimony – State and Federal

  • Testified before Congressional Border Caucus Ad-Hoc Hearing: The Voice of Border Communities in the Immigration Debate regarding “Economic Security and the Critical Need for Immigration Reform” – El Paso, Texas, September 2013
  • Testified before the Texas State Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade (IRT) regarding Pushing the Envelope on Immigration Regulation at the State and Local level; How Far are we Willing to go From an Economic, Moral, Constitutional, and Security Perspective – Austin, TX, September 2008
  • Testified at the Congressional Hearing held by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade – regarding federal perceptions as to U.S. immigration law and enforcement measures as to civil and criminal immigration law – El Paso, Texas, July 2008
  • Testified before the Texas Border Security Task Force (TBSTF), Mexican American Legislative Caucus – Texas House of Representatives regarding Texas Border Security – El Paso, Texas, March 2008
  • Study of Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) Agreements:: Before the House Committee on State Affairs:: Austin, Texas, April 21, 2008
  • Policies and Procedures Related to Illegal Immigration and Border Security of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, County Probation Departments, and Local and County Jail Facilities and Recommendations to Improve Coordination with International, Federal, State, and Local Authorities :: Before The House Committee on Corrections and The House Committee on County Affairs :: Dallas, Texas, February 1, 2008
  • Ensuring Homeland Security While Facilitating Legitimate Travel: The Challenge at America's Ports of Entry :: Before the Committee on Homeland Security U.S. House of Representatives :: El Paso, Texas, January 3, 2008
  • Texas State Legislative Proposals regarding Immigration and Border Security :: Before the U.S. House of Representatives of Texas House State Affairs and Border and International Affairs Committee :: Austin, Texas, March 28, 2007
  • Should Mexico Hold Veto Power Over U.S. Border Security Decisions :: Before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee :: El Paso, Texas, August 17, 2006
  • Securing the Vote :: Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration Committee Field Hearing :: Las Cruces, New Mexico, August 3, 2006
  • Strengthening Border Security between the Ports of Entry: The Use of Technology to Protect the Borders :: Before the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship Subcommittee and the Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee :: Washington, D.C., April 28, 2005
  • Integrity and Security at the Border: The US VISIT Program :: Before the Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security :: Washington, D.C., January 28, 2004
  • Immigration Reform and the Reorganization of Homeland Defense :: Before the Immigration Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee:: Washington, D.C., June 26, 2002

Professional Involvement

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, National President 2007–2008; General Counsel 2009–2010; Chair of National Customs and Borders Committee, 2009–2010; Chair Department of
  • State Liaison Committee (four years); Chair of Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, 2011; Board of Governors, member
  • State Bar of Texas Conference on Advanced Immigration Law Course 2010 and Nuts and Bolts of Immigration Law, Course Director
  • State Bar of Texas, Standing Committee on Laws Relating to Immigration & Nationality, Member, 2009–2012
  • State Bar of Texas, Immigration & Nationality Law Section, Council Member, 2010
  • Cox Smith, Practice Group Leader, Immigration

Community Involvement

  • Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Chair, 2013; Governing Board, 2008–2012; Government Relations Chair, 2011– present; General Counsel, 2008–2009
  • City of El Paso; Chair, Committee on Border Relations, 2010–2012
  • El Paso Foreign Trade Association (former president four years – project first Dedicated Commuter Lane in Texas)
  • West Texas Advisory Group, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Field Office, member
  • American, Texas, and Southwest Quarter Horse Association member

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit



  • Representing Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups, 2017 AILA Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana June 2017
  • Status of Trade Agreement Visas – H-1/B-1, E-1/E-2, NAFTA – What is the State of the Nation with Regard to our Trade Agreements?, April 21, 2017
  • Immigration Law Webcast, Panelist, State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas, April 12, 2017
  • Worksite and Mergers & Acquisitions, 2017 AILA Employer Compliance and Worksite Enforcement Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, February 11, 2017
  • E Visa Processing Panel, 38th Annual Immigration Law Conference of the AILA South Florida Chapter, Miami, Florida, February 2, 2017
  • L and EB13 Panel, 38th Annual Immigration Law Conference of the AILA South Florida Chapter, Miami, Florida, February 2, 2017
  • State Department Update, PLI’s 49th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, New York, New York, December 7, 2016
  • Traveling Executives – Getting into the U.S. on Time, AILA Fall Conference, Toronto, ON, September 23, 2016
  • Learn from the Experts on E-1/E-2 Preparation, AILA's National Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 25, 2016
  • Where do I stand? Cutting edge issues in adjustment of status and consular processing, AILA's Annual Advanced Immigration Law Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 14, 2016
  • Worksite Compliance and Enforcement Issues, 14th Annual Advanced Immigration Law Conference, State Bar of Texas, Houston, Texas, February 20, 2016
  • Blanket Ls, Regular Ls, and Es, Panel Leader, Latin America and Caribbean Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, November 6, 2015
  • Can't We All Just Get Along -- Interagency Challenges, American Immigration Counsel, 2015 Annual Benefit: American, Heritage Awards, National Harbor, Maryland, June 19, 2015
  • Avoiding the Ultimate I-9 Penalty and the Illusion of an E-Verify Safe Harbor, National Restaurant Association Annual Show, Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2014
  • Intergovernmental Panel, Chair, AILA's Annual Midwest Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 14, 2014
  • Entry-Exit Systems in North America, Canada and Mexico Institutes of the Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., February 5, 2014
  • Worksite Enforcement, 12th Annual Advanced Immigration Law Course Sponsored by the Texas State Bar, Houston, Texas, February 5, 2014
  • Immigration Reform-Quo Vadis/Reforma Migratoria-Hacia donde vamos?, U.S.-Mexico Bar Association Annual Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, October 30, 2013
  • Introduction to Managing an Immigration Law Practice, E-Verify, New I-9 Compliance and Employer Sanctions, 37th Annual, Immigration and Nationality Law Conference Sponsored by University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, October 25, 2013
  • Admissions Issues-Part 1: Eligibility, 2013 AILA Fall Conference, Austin, Texas, September 27, 2013
  • Immigration Reform: Facts, Figures, Fallacies, Masters Leadership Program Alumni Association, San Antonio, Texas, September 24, 2013
  • Has My Client Been Admitted, Which Admission Matters, and Other Conundrums, AILA's National Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, June 26, 2013
  • New Form, New Challenges: Employers' Guide to the I-9 and M-274 and Managing Employees During Time of Crisis, Cox Smith Employment and Employer Rights Workshop, May 17, 2013
  • New Form, New Challenges: Employers’ Guide to the I-9 and M-274, American Law Institute, April 23, 2013
  • Northwest Regional Immigration Law Conference, Seattle University School of Law, March 21, 2013
  • AILA's Midyear CLE Conference, Panama City, Panama, January 25, 2013
  • The Permanent Resident Timeline Tightrope, 36th Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law, November 8, 2012
  • Healthcare Reform: Where Do Employers Go From Here?, El Paso Employee Benefits Seminar
  • September 20, 2012
  • Immigration Reform in a Vacuum / Reforma Migratoria en el Vacio, U.S. - Mexico Bar Association 2011 Annual Meeting and CLE Conference, November 11, 2011
  • Hot Topics in Business Immigration Law, The University of Texas School of Law 35th Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law, October 21, 2011
  • The Permanent Resident Timeline Tightrope, The University of Texas School of Law 35th Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law, October 20, 2011
  • The Current U.S. Scene - Immigration Law Reform, 5th Biennial Global Immigration Conference of the International Bar Association, London, UK, September 22, 2011
  • Immigration and the Workplace Workplace, Cox Smith Workshop, September 15, 2011
  • Cox Smith Employment and Employer Rights Workshop, El Paso, Texas, August 25, 2011
  • Strengthening the Economic Integration Between the U.S. and Mexico, 8th Annual Border Security Conference, The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), August 15, 2011
  • Immigration Worksite Enforcement - New Compliance Challenges and the Social Security Administration No Match Conundrum, Planning Chair, ALIABA Live Webcast and Telephone Seminar, May 5, 2011
  • Roadblocks in Cross-Border Reproductive Care: Are Parents Getting What They Expect and Deserve When They Have Children in Other Countries?, American Association of Tissue Banks' 15th Annual Spring Meeting, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2011
  • Emerging Issues in Employer/ee Relationships, Texas Bar CLE Advanced Immigration Law Course, Austin, Texas, March 25, 2011
  • National Legislative Scene, Texas Bar CLE Advanced Immigration Law Course, Austin, Texas
  • March 25, 2011
  • Emerging Issues in Employer/ee Relationships, Texas Bar CLE Advanced Immigration Law Course, Houston, Texas, February 25, 2011
  • National Legislative Scene, Texas Bar CLE Advanced Immigration Law Course, Houston, Texas, February 25, 2011


  • NAFTA TN and E Visas Support U.S. Consumers, Investment and Jobs,” by Kathleen Campbell Walker, National Foundation for American Policy, April 2018
  • "Wait," Kathleen Campbell Walker interviewed by Government Executive, March 12, 2015
  • “DACA Expansion Program Suspended Before Start – Texas District Court Judge Issues Temporary Injunction,” by Kathleen Campbell Walker, Immigration in Focus, El Paso Times, February 17, 2015
  • “Immigration Surge puts Strain on Legal System.” Kathleen Campbell Walker interviewed by KTSM Channel 9 News, June 10, 2014
  • “How Undocumented Immigrants are Processed.” Kathleen Campbell Walker interviewed by KVIA Channel 7 News, June 9, 2014
  • “7 Common I-9 Errors and How to Avoid Them,” by Kathleen Campbell Walker, National Restaurant Association, May 29, 2014
  • "When Gray is Black: Defining the Line Between a Business Visit and Work for International Trade Related Visas," by Kathleen Campbell Walker, Expert Guide: International Trade 2014, Corporate LiveWire January 15, 2014
  • Kathleen Walker on How The Shutdown Shuts Out Foreign Employees, October 7, 2013
  • Kathleen Walker Provides Testimony for Hearing on Immigration Reform, September 17, 2013
  • Statement on Economic Security and the Critical Need for Immigration Reform, September 17, 2013
  • Profile, "Kathleen Walker, Chair, Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce," El Paso, Inc., May 5, 2013, El Paso, Inc.
  • "Budget Cuts Hit E-Verify", March 26, 2013
  • Quoted, "Immigration plan greeted with cautious optimism," San Antonio Express-News, January 30, 2013
  • "The Permanent Resident Timeline Tightrope," by Kathleen Campbell Walker, for the 36th Annual Immigration and National, Conference, November 7-9, 2012
  • Quoted, "Keep Eye on School Boards, Experts Say," El Paso Times (From Hosting Chamber State of Education Board), November 1, 2012
  • Quoted, "Dream Act youths might be worth billions to Texas," San Antonio Express-News, October 30, 2012
  • Quoted, "More Mexicans seek asylum in U.S. as drug violence rises," Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2012
  • Quoted, "Cube Scraps Exit Visa Requirement, Eliminating Major Impediment of Travel Overseas," AP Newswire/USA Today, October 16, 2012
  • The Filing Begins – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, August 14, 2012
  • Chasing the Dream: Sorting Fact and Myth Is Biggest Obstacle to Immigration Reform, May 1, 2012, ABA Journal
  • "Practice Advisory: An Update on Paths to Criminal Charges," January 23, 2012
  • "Immigration policy overhaul likely would spur US growth," by Vic Kolenc, El Paso Times, October 6, 2011
  • "The Pirate's Code: The Neufeld Memo and the Employer/Employee Relationship," by Kathleen Walker, TexasBar CLE 2011 Advanced Immigration Law Course, Houston, February 25, 2011
  • "How to Walk the Ethical Line --- Being Less Stressed Out," by Cyrus D. Mehta, H. Sam Myers, and Kathleen Campbell Walker, February 15, 2011
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