Constitution Day Speaker Explores U.S. Immigration System


School News

Walsh University’s Phi Alpha Theta, the Honor Society of History, welcomed immigration expert Isabelle Bibet-Kalinyak for its annual Constitution Day lecture "From the Constitution to Today's Immigration System, a Legal Primer for Non-Lawyers," on Monday, September 17, in the Marlene and Joe Toot Global Learning Center Atrium.

Constitution Day, also known as Citizenship Day, is observed every year on September 17 and is recognized as a federal holiday. Established by law in 2004, it celebrates the ratification of the United States Constitution, and honors all those who have become citizens either through naturalization or by coming of age.

Bibet-Kalinyak is a corporate attorney for McDonald Hopkins’ national Healthcare Practice Group, where she leads the firm’s Immigration Practice Group. Bibet-Kalinyak, a first generation immigrant, specializes in employment-based immigration matters in the areas of healthcare, biotech, education, retail, and manufacturing. 

"I wanted to talk about not only the Constitution, but I thought I’d give a different spin on what you may have heard before about how the Constitution and Constitutional Rights intersect with immigration law. I think it is a prominent topic, a divisive topic at times, and it doesn’t have to be," said Bibet-Kalinyak. "I’m not here as a Constitution Day law scholar, but to share what I know about the law and what I have learned as a first-generation immigrant myself."

As the only French attorney in the Midwest region, Bibet-Kalinyak advises U.S. clients with overseas operations in French-speaking countries and French-speaking companies that desire to expand operations/scope in the U.S. Isabelle has more than 26 years of international business experience in the healthcare, aerospace and plastics industries. Prior to joining McDonald Hopkins, she worked as a corporate health care attorney for the law firm of Brouse McDowell after honing her legal skills in-house as an intern for a major health system (Akron General Health System) and a local county hospital (Robinson Memorial Hospital). 

Bibet-Kalinyak is a frequent presenter at national and local conferences (AHLA, Ohio Hospital Association, Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, etc.) on topics related to health care and business immigration. She was named in Crain's Cleveland "Five to Watch in Law" (2017) and selected for inclusion in Ohio Rising Stars (2017-2018).