Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: Local Immigration Ordinances: The Result of Federal Inaction on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Local Immigration Ordinances: The Result of Federal Inaction on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Representatives from New Haven, Hazleton, Arlington, and Montgomery, Counties to Discuss Ordinances

WASHINGTON, D.C. On Wednesday, August 8 at 10:30 a.m. the Center for American Progress will host a panel discussion on local immigration ordinances.  The panel, made up of elected officials and litigators at the center of this controversial issue will discuss their insights on the ordinances, the impact they have on communities of color, and the implications the ordinances present for the national immigration debate.

Featured panelists:

Isiah (Ike) Legget, County Executive, Montgomery County, MD

Kica Matos, Deputy Mayor, New Haven, CT

Walter Tejada, Vice Chair, Arlington County Board, Arlington, VA

Witold (Vic) Walczak, Legal Director, ACLU Pennsylvania


Moderated by:

Dan Restrepo, Director of The Americas Project, Center for American Progress


RSVP for this Event

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Program: 10:30 to noon

Admission is free.


Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center




Isiah (Ike)Leggett

In November 2006, Isiah (Ike) Leggett was elected to a four year term as Montgomery County Executive.  Prior to that, Mr. Leggett served on the County Council from 1986-2002, serving four terms as an At-Large member, and as Council President three times. As a Council Member he also chaired the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee and served as a member of the Education Committee. He has been an active member of the community having served on numerous boards and commissions.  He was appointed to serve on the Montgomery County Human Relations Commission in 1979 and 1981(now called the Human Rights Commission), Mr. Leggett also chaired the Commission (from 1983-1986) and chaired the Commission’s Hearing Panel on Employment Discrimination from 1982-1986.  He has received numerous awards and honors during his 21 years of service to the community.

Mr. Leggett holds four higher education degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Arts, Juris Doctorate and Masters of Laws all with honors. He finished first in his class at Howard University Law School, graduating Magna Cum Laude and held the third highest academic average in the law school’s history. In 1977 he was selected as a White House Fellow, one of a select number of citizens nationwide for his exemplary civic, professional and educational achievement.

He served as a Professor of Law at the Howard University Law School from 1975 – 2006. He ran the day-to-day operations of the Law School as its Assistant Dean from 1979 – 1986.


Kica Matos

Kica Matos is the Deputy Mayor and Community Services Administrator for the City of New Haven. In this capacity, she oversees a number of departments and policy initiatives, including Public Health, Elderly Services, Youth, Immigration, Substance Abuse, and Prevention and services to the homeless.  Prior to this, she was executive director of JUNTA for Progressive Action, New Haven’s oldest Latino community-based organization. Before joining JUNTA, she was an assistant federal defender in Philadelphia, PA, where she represented death-sentenced inmates in state post-conviction and federal habeas proceedings.  Matos is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  She has an M.A. in political science from the New School and a law degree from Cornell University. She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2005 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, given annually to two Americans under the age of 40 for their commitment to public service.

Dan Restrepo

Dan Restrepo is the Director of The Americas Project at the Center for American Progress. Restrepo is responsible for the Center’s work related to the United States and its place in and relationship with the rest of the Americas. Restrepo, a first-generation American of Colombian and Spanish parents, served on the Democratic staff of the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 1996. There he focused on all aspects of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including U.S. policy toward Haiti during its political transitions, U.S. counter-narcotics programs and policies, the consolidation of the Central American peace processes, U.S.-Cuba policy, and the Mexican debt crisis among other matters. During his tenure on the International Relations Committee staff, Restrepo traveled extensively throughout the hemisphere meeting with government officials, civil society leaders, and opposition party leaders.

Immediately before starting The Americas Project, Restrepo served as the Director of Congressional Affairs at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, Restrepo spent three years as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, LLP. Prior to those years, Restrepo served as an attorney for the Florida Democratic Party during the 2000 election recount. From August through November 2000, he worked as the Research Director for the Florida Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

Restrepo has appeared on a wide range of media outlets including CNN, CNN Español, Univision, CNBC, TV Azteca, Telemundo, FOX News, Reuters Television, and C-SPAN. His work has appeared in The Miami Herald, La Opinion, The Baltimore Sun, and elsewhere.

Restrepo graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (1999) before serving as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Anthony J. Scirica of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Restrepo graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (1993). He speaks fluent Spanish.

Walter Tejada

J. Walter Tejada was elected to the Arlington County Board on March 11, 2003, in a Special Election. On November 4, 2003, he was re-elected and is currently serving a full four-year term on the Board.

A community advocate, Tejada has distinguished himself as a leader committed to enhancing the diversity of Arlington’s community voice. During his tenure, he has done outreach to local communities and encouraged residents to be active participants in various efforts throughout the County. He has been instrumental in convening community stakeholders to address a wide-range of issues such as affordable housing, civic engagement and volunteerism, community and economic development, education and employment, fiscal accountability, parks and recreation, tenant outreach and empowerment efforts, youth development programming nonprofit initiatives, and many others.

Relentless in his commitment to promote and support civic participation and representation, Tejada has been an instrumental visionary in the establishment of various initiatives and programs. Two such initiatives are the Community Role Models Initiative, which provides educational and service opportunities for young adults, and the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, which helps provide opportunities for day laborers.

In 2004 and 2005  Tejada was elected to serve as Chairman of the Human Services Policy Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He also serves in COG’s Public Safety Policy Committee, which addresses regional matters, and on the Communications Committee of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. He is a member of the Virginia Municipal League’s Human Development & Education Steering Committee, the National Association of Counties’ Member Programs and Services Committee, and the Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee.

Born in El Salvador, Tejada moved to the United States at the age of 13 and is a proud U.S. citizen. He studied government and communications at George Mason University and has worked as an investigator, a business consultant, and an aide to Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA).

Witold “Vic” Walczak

Witold “Vic” Walczak graduated with a BA degree from Colgate University in 1983, where he majored in philosophy. Walczak graduated cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1986. Prior to joining the ACLU, Walczak worked with the Prisoner Assistance Project of the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore, MD, where he litigated civil rights and civil liberties claims on behalf of state prisoners. In 1991 Walczak joined the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union as associate director. The following year he was named executive director, a position he held for 10 years. In addition to administrative and fund-raising duties, Walczak directed the chapter’s litigation. Starting in November 2002, Walczak became the chapter’s first-ever legal director, allowing him to devote full attention to the legal program. In February 2004, the ACLU of Pennsylvania named Walczak litigation director for the entire state. He now supervises three staff attorneys and oversees the ACLU’s litigation throughout Pennsylvania.