Karin Anderson


Karin Anderson Ponzer is a partner at Anderson Olver.  She has over two decades’ experience in the practice of immigration law:  student and academic exchange visas, family-based immigrant visas, international adoption, employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, adjustment of status, consular processing, workplace compliance and enforcement issues, litigation in removal proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration Review and the Board of Immigration Appeals.  She specializes in strategic immigration planning; maximizing international mobility while protecting status of individuals and family in the United States.  She is an expert in complex immigration matters, including waivers of inadmissibility and relief from deportation for individuals with criminal convictions.  An expert in immigration law, she has provided technical support, supervision, CLE instruction and mentoring to a wide array of attorneys, recent law graduates, law students, not for profit legal services agencies and community-based organizations in the New York metro area and Hudson Valley region.

Karin holds a Ph.D. in Politics and Historical Studies from the New School for social Research.  Her dissertation “Inventing the Border: Law and Immigration in the United States: 1882-1891” explored the role that federal consolidation and administrative innovation played  in the U.S. Supreme Court’s finding of federal control over immigration in Chae Chae Ping v. United States (130 U.S. 581), Fong Yue Ting v. United States (149 U.S. 698) and Nishimura Ekiu v. United States (142 U.S. 651), decision that, in affirming legislation providing for executive branch immigration enforcement,  established the doctrinal foundation of modern US immigration law.

She is a 1992 graduate of the University Of Baltimore School Of Law, where she was the recipient of a Law Foundation Scholarship, and holds a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College with Honors in English Literature.

She is a member of the New York Bar and the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Karin is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the New York City Bar Association (ABCNY) , where she is a member of the Immigration & Nationality Committee, Chair of the Detention Subcommittee, and member of the Children & the Courts Subcommittee, the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA), where she is a member of the Immigration Committee.

She has received several awards for her work on behalf of immigrants.  She was given the Nassau County Executive Citation for community service on behalf of immigrants (2013), the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence Award for legal work on behalf of immigrants (2007), and the National Lawyers Guild Award for legal work on behalf of immigrants (2005)

She has been a featured speaker on many immigration panels.  She has conducted a number of training courses on immigration topics, especially on family-based immigration law and procedure.

Karin has written, spoken and taught extensively on immigration matters.  Publications, articles and presentations include:

  • Roundtable discussion on immigration reform, The Local Live, Mamaroneck, New York (2015)
  • Fall 2014 Family Based Immigration Law & Procedure (14 session course) – Co – sponosed by the Pace Community Law Practice and Pace Law School Continuing Legal Education Program (combined live/online format)
  • September 17, 2014 Project Protect: Pro Bono Lawyers Representing Immigrant Children, Co-Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig and Pace Community Law Practice
  • April 8, 2014, The U Visa and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Westchester County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program
  • November 14, 2013 Selected Immigration Topics for Criminal, Family and Small-Firm Practitioners with Immigrant Clients – Pace Law School Continuing Legal Education Program
  • October 29, 2013 Immigration Remedies Available Now: Are You Prepared? New York City Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program
  • December 3, 2012 A Conversation on the Recent Supreme Court Cases – Pace Law School Continuing Legal Education Program
  • Spring 2010 Family-Based Immigration Law and Procedure – CUNY School of Professional Studies
  • “A Political History of the Plenary Power Doctrine: Immigration Policy and Organization of State Power in the U.S.” Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association (2010) and at the New York Political Science Association Conference  (2009)
  • “Haitians deserve and urgently need Temporary Protected Status” (2008) testimony before the New York City Council on behalf of Catholic Migration Services, Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens
  • “Treatment of NSEERs Special Registration call-in registrants during the registration process at the Immigration and Naturalization Service/Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services”  Testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights at New York University School of Law (2003) Cited in the Washington & Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, “The Executive’s Scapegoat, The Court’s Blind Eye?: Immigrants’ Rights After 9/11”, Hollis V. Pitsch (January 1, 2005); Chapter 3: “Immigrants, Refugees, Minorities”, Assessing the New Normal: Liberty and Security in the Post – September 11United States, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights,(September 2003); Lorraine C. Minnite, Chapter 7, “Outside the Circle: The impact of Post-9/11 Responses on Immigrant Communities in New York City”, in Contentious City: The Politics of Recovery in New York City, John Mollenkopf, ed.(The Russell Sage Foundation: 2005)
  • “A Perfect Storm: Immigration Service Functions Likely to Collapse Under Department of Homeland Security” (with Margie McHugh, Norman Eng, Esq. and Ana Maria Bazan, Esq.) New York Immigration Coalition (2002)
  • “Immigrant Victims of the World Trade Center Attack” (2001) North American Congress on Latin America: Report On The Americas, Vol. XXXV No. 3