Nadeen Aljijakli



Nadeen Aljlijakli practices exclusively in the area of immigration law with a focus on family-based immigration, asylum, and complex deportation and removal defense.

Nadeen is a recognized expert on Syrian asylum claims, and has been featured in numerous news media, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Al Jazeera, and the The Plain Dealer.  In addition, The Huffington Post named her to its “Top Ten List: Muslims Who Save Lives.” Nadeen also received the 2016 Pro Bono Champion Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Ohio Chapter.

Nadeen represents clients in matters involving adjustment of status and naturalization, asylum and refugee status, detention and bond, cancellation of removal, waivers of inadmissibility, and federal court litigation. She has also handled business immigration matters in the medical and university research sectors.

In 2019, Nadeen joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Law as an Adjunct Professor teaching the law school’s Immigration Law course.

Nadeen is a native Arabic speaker.

Practice Areas

• Family-based Immigration

Asylum and Refugee status

Humanitarian-based Immigration (including Temporary Protected Status and Direct Access Program for Syrian and Iraqi refugees)

• Deportation and Removal Defense 

• U.S. Naturalization and Citizenship


Nadeen developed her expertise in immigration law working with nationally recognized lawyers at leading law firms in the country, including Duane Morris’ Immigration Practice Group and Maggio & Kattar, PC, in Washington, DC, as well as Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer, LLP, in New York. During law school, she was a finalist in a national family law moot court competition, she was selected as a Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow, and interned with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (New York Immigration Court). Nadeen also interned at leading non-profit organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights.


In 2016, Nadeen received the 2016 Pro Bono Champion Award by the AILA Ohio Chapter, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to pro bono work and have made a significant impact on the immigrant communities they serve.

Professional & Community Involvement

Nadeen is active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association, where she has served in the following capacities: 

• Member, Asylum & Refugee Committee,  2019-2020

• Member, Distance Learning Committee, 2018-2019

• Cleveland Liaison for U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, 2014-2016

• Coordinator of the Middle Eastern Interest Group (MEIG), 2012-2014

• CLE Conference Chair (Ohio chapter), 2012

• Cleveland Advocacy Liaison (Ohio chapter), 2011 

• Vice Chair of Detention Committee (D.C. Chapter), 2009-2019

• Pro Bono Committee (D.C. Chapter), 2007-2008

Nadeen has also provided regular legal support to community-based organizations, such as the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund and Immigration Equality, which provides legal services and policy advocacy on behalf of LGBT immigrants. Nadeen is a co-founder of the New York Chapter of the Network of Arab-American Professionals, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to strengthening the Arab-American community, and serves on the organization’s Advisory Board. 


• Discussion Leader, “Opportunities for Naturalization While Residing Abroad,” AILA Audio Seminar, November 21, 2019

• Panelist, “Life After a Removal Order,” 2019 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, June 22, 2019

• Discussion Leader, “Naturalization Challenges and Strategies in the Trump Era,” AILA Audio Seminar, February 27, 2019

• Panelist, “Overview of Immigrant Waivers in Family Cases,” 2017 AILA National Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 23, 2017

• Presenter, “I Can’t Go Home Again,” AILA Podcast, November 30, 2016

• Presenter, “U.S. Immigration Options for Syrian Nationals in the Global Refugee Crisis,” Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Webinar, December 18, 2015

• Panelist, “From the Southern Border to the Midwest: Navigating Paths to Asylum Protection,” AILA Ohio Chapter Conference, Columbus, Ohio, October 9, 2015

• Panelist, “Advanced Issues in TPS,” 2014 AILA National Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, June 18, 2014

• Panelist, “Asylum Challenges: A Focus on Social Group Claims and Statutory Bars,” AILA Ohio / Midsouth Conference, Cincinnati, OH, October 26, 2013

• Presenter, “Know Your Rights Community Forum,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OH Chapter), Cleveland, OH, February 10, 2013

• Panelist, “Mock Hearings: Hot Topics in Removal,” AILA Ohio Chapter & Columbus Bar Association 10th Annual Immigration Law Institute, Columbus, OH, November 16, 2012

• Presenter, “Immigration 101: Asylum and Statutory Bars,” Law Review CLE Live Teleconference Seminar, October 25, 2012

• Panelist, “Statutory Bars to Asylum,” 2012 AILA National Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, June 14, 2012

• Presenter, U.S. Citizenship Clinic, Islamic Center of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH, April 13, 2012

• Presenter, “Mock Bond Hearings: Arguing Your Way Out of Jail,” AILA-OH Chapter & Columbus Bar Association 9th Annual Immigration Law Institute, Columbus, OH, November 11, 2011

• Panelist, “Criminal Issues in Removal Proceedings,” (Aggravated Felonies and Limitations on Relief), ILW Telephonic Seminar, April 7, 2011

• Panelist, “Detention and Bond: Strategies and DRO Updates,” AILA-OH Chapter & Columbus Bar Association 8th Annual Immigration Law Institute, Columbus, OH, November 5, 2010

• Panelist, “Stormy Weather: Fighting Your Client’s Removal and Finding Relief,” AILA-DC Chapter’s Annual CLE Conference, Washington, DC, November 16, 2009

• Panelist, “I-485 RFEs and Adjudication – Hot Topics,” (Proving lawful entry, NSEERS issues, and renewing I-485s in Immigration Court), ILW Telephonic Seminar, December 22, 2008

• Moderator, “Protecting Immigrant Rights: Understanding Policies Affecting our Community,” Network of Arab-American Professionals’ National Conference, New York, NY, November 18, 2007


• “Life After a Removal Order,” AILA Immigration Practice Pointers, 2019-20 Edition. 

• “Naturalization Challenges and Strategies in the Trump Era,” AILA Immigration Practice Pointers, 2019 Edition.

• “Will Politics Trump Humanity as Syrians in America Risk Losing Humanitarian Protection?,” Huffington Post, January 12, 2018.

• “Provisional Waiver Update: “Let’s Not Waive Goodbye,” AILA Immigration Practice Pointers, 2017 Edition.

• “Why American Politics Is Much Scarier Than Syrian Refugees,” Huffington Post, November 24, 2015.

• “A Numbers Game: The U.S. Is Still Falling Short with Syrian Refugee Resettlement,” Huffington Post, September 23, 2015.

• “Love and Marriage (and Citizenship): Naturalization Based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen,” AILA’s Guide to U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Law, 2014.

• “Important TPS Issues You Did Not Have Time to Research,” AILA Immigration Practice Pointers, 2014-15 Edition.

• “Lawful Status Lost: Dealing with the Abandonment of LPR Status,” AILA’s Voice Magazine, May 2014.

• “U.S. Serves as Safe-Haven for Syrians with TPS Extended“, AILA’s Voice Magazine, July-August 2013.

• “Syrians under Fire: Seeking Asylum in America,” AILA’s Voice Magazine, November-December 2012.

• “INA §319(b): Expedited Naturalization with No Physical Presence Requirement for Spouse of U.S. Citizen Employed Abroad,” The Consular Practice Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition; The Visa Processing Guide and Consular Posts Handbook, 2009-2010. Edition.

• “Statutory Bars to Asylum: What Is So Serious About a Particularly Serious Crime?,” AILA Immigration Practice Pointers, 2012-13 Edition.

• “Torture,” Springer’s Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health, 2012.