Keynote Presentation: The Insiders And You: Immigration Truths from a Former Visa Officer and U.S. Diplomat.
Chris Richardson is a former U.S. Diplomat, prominent immigration attorney, and Co-Founder of the world’s leading remote video immigration consulting technology company, Argo Visa LLC. He is a leading expert on immigration policy.
Richardson served in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Spain as a Consular Officer. He was an American Citizens Services Chief, a visa officer, Deputy Nonimmigrant Visas Chief, Acting Nonimmigrant Visas Chief for the largest visa post in Africa (Lagos, Nigeria), Immigrant Visas Chief, and a Deputy Consular Section Chief.
Throughout his time in the Foreign Service, Richardson managed hundreds of officers and local staff in some of the most dangerous postings in the world. He also investigated several high-profile fraud rings including at least two that involved members of the U.S. missions abroad. More critically, Richardson managed Post responses to crisis situations including terrorist attacks, plane crashes, violent national unrest, bombings, rapes, murders, kidnappings, and hundreds of death cases involving Americans who died abroad. For his service, Richardson won several awards including Meritorious Honors Awards and a Superior Honors Award.
Richardson resigned in protest due to President Trump’s Muslim Ban and the President’s derogatory statements about African countries. Immediately upon resigning, he drafted an affidavit against the Muslim Ban which was cited by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in Trump v. Hawaii. After his resignation, he started a technology company that focused on remote video technology and immigration consulting.
Richardson has been featured in Mother Jones, Slate Magazine, Reuters, NPR, Embedded, All Things Considered, SCOTUS Blog, BBC, Georgia Public Radio, Intercept, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He has also been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN and CBS. Richardson has written several well-received opinion columns for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Slate Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, The Hill, and the Nation regarding immigration policy and the issue of diversity at the State Department. He advised U.S. Senators and House members on a wide range of immigration and State Department issues including the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, the various travel bans, and diversity.
A native of South Carolina, Richardson serves on the Board of Directors for Upstate Forever (an environmental group), Upstate International, and the Hispanic Alliance. He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law and graduated summa cum laude from Emory University in 2003. He is also the co-author of the Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement (2014) and lectured on the American Civil Rights Movement at universities and colleges across the globe.