Citizenship and Naturalization|Family Immigration|Federal Litigation|Humanitarian Visas|Immigration Court, Removal and Deportation
Awards & Recognitions
AILA-Amicus Committee, Jack Wasserman Memorial Award 2023
AILA-Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award, 2021
Joco Bar- Advocate Attorney Award, 2021
KBA-Courageous Attorney Award, 2018
Mo Bar- Pro Bono Publico Award, 2017
Memberships & Associations
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Kansas Bar Association
Missouri Bar Association
National Immigration Project/National Lawyers Guild
Pro-bono & Community Service
Founding Member of The Clinic at Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides low-income individuals and families facing immigration removal proceedings with the U.S. Immigration Court, access to quality pro bono or discounted fee legal representation.
JD, DCL at Michigan State University
Rekha Sharma-Crawford‘s fiery advocacy for immigrant’s rights and devotion to the rule of law has kept Rekha up all night more times than she can count. Her fearlessness has put Rekha in the local, national, and even international spotlight as she’s taken on extremely complex and high- profile cases that others have turned away. These cases are complicated further by the state of immigration laws and the court of public opinion. Rekha has an ability to articulate the law and its implications on cases that are anything but cut and dry. She has often turned the tide of misunderstanding and misinformation that plays out in television, print and social media, brought clarity to vague areas, and protected the fundamental right of due process.
Rekha is a respected and published contributor for legal journals and other publications. Her expertise in immigration law is sought out by clients and colleagues in the legal field, from judges and immigration officials to lawmakers. Rekha is a frequent speaker at the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) national conference. She was also the Editor-in-Chief of The AILA Litigation Toolbox, a hands-on approach to litigating immigration issues, and a contributing author for the AILA Waiver’s Book. In 2023, Rekha became the first ever South Asian American to be elected to AILA’s Executive Committee as Secretary. She had previously served on various other National Committees for AILA and was an Elected Director for the AILA Board of Governors, 2019-2023. Rekha is also a member of the Board for the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild starting in 2020. Finally, she is an Adjunct Professor teaching Immigration Law at the University of Kansas School of Law and Washburn University School of Law.
Rekha was the lead counsel in Jamal v. Sessions, 18-cv-06015 (W. Dist. MO. 2018); Bringas- Rodriguez v. Jefferson Sessions, III, et al, 18-70049 (9th Cir. 2018); Matter of A-L, (AAO Jan. 12, 2017); Matter of Lemus, 25 I&N Dec. 734 (BIA 2012), Matter of Lemus, 24 I&N Dec. 373 (BIA 2007), clarified; Lemus-Losa v. Holder, 576 F.3d 752,761 (7th Cir. 2009) and was part of the legal team on the U.S. Supreme Court case of Kansas v. Garcia, 589 U. S. ____ (2020). In 2021, Rekha secured a favorable federal court decision in a case involving Special Immigrant Juveniles. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri held that children who have been granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS, have been paroled for humanitarian purposes and therefore are eligible for work authorization as parolees. Godinez v. DHS, No. 20-008280-cv-w-GAF (W.D. Mo.). The case was the first of its kind in the nation. Rekha regularly practices before the Federal Courts on cases involving affirmative immigration benefits as well as the Court’s of Appeal.
In 2022, Rekha authored a children’s book Aaliyah The Brave, Empowering Children Coping with Immigration Enforcement . The book was designed as a resource for parents, teachers, social workers, advocates, and lawyers. It helps readers understand the impact immigration enforcement can have on children and what emotions children may feel in the aftermath. The book is available, in English and Spanish, at rekhasharmacrawford.com
It is not Rekha’s nature to sit out and hope for the best. Her personal and professional philosophy to make a meaningful difference in her community and country led to The Clinic at Sharma-Crawford (“The Clinic”) a nonprofit organization. Rekha and her husband, Michael, established The Clinic to close the gap between low-income immigrants facing removal and the availability of qualified, affordable representation with the U.S. Immigration Court. As part of The Clinic’s efforts to help other immigration attorneys become fearless in the courtroom, Rekha helped create the first Immigration Removal Defense Trial College, an intense practical training program that pairs all-star immigration and criminal defense trial lawyers with students to help raise the quality of immigration court practice nationally.
In 2021, Rekha was nationally recognized by the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association by being awarded the Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award, for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law. Also in 2021, the Johnson County Bar Association honored Rekha with the 2021 Advocate Attorney Award. This award recognizes significant contributions to the public interest by trying or settling an important precedent-setting case or distinguishing themselves as an advocate in the courtroom or on appeal. In 2018, the Kansas Bar Association honored Rekha with the Courageous Attorney Award, an award presented from time to time, to attorneys who have displayed exceptional courage in the face of adversity, thus bringing credit to the legal profession. Finally, the Missouri Bar Association honored Rekha and Michael with its Pro Bono Publico Award in 2017.
Licensed in the States of Kansas, Missouri, and Texas