Keynote Speaker

Carlos Batara, a Harvard-educated attorney, is a professional speaker offering motivational talks, event presentations, and group workshops on a broad range of diversity, multicultural, and immigration issues.

He combines information-rich content with his own unique brand of wit, wisdom, compassion and irreverence.  His energetic yet easygoing style, coupled with down-to-earth communication skills, will keep your audience engaged, even after a long day of work.

For over 25 years, Carlos has spoken publicly and keynoted events for non-profit and community-based organizations, schools and educational groups, government agencies, businesses, and churches on social, economic, political, and legal topics.

In addition, throughout his professional career, Carlos has been a go-to source for journalists covering immigration law, immigration policy, and immigration political news.

It’s not easy to find the right speaker. As someone who has planned countless conferences, workshops, and forums, I’ve been in your shoes.

That’s why as your keynote speaker, my goal is to do everything possible to make your event a success. I know you have choices, so I appreciate that you are taking the time to learn how I might serve you and your organization.

I’ve designed this page to help answer your questions about what you can expect of me as a speaker, my background, experiences, and professional training, some common topics, as well as how you can reach me to discuss your speaking needs.

Thank you for your consideration. It’s an honor.

A Road Less Traveled

When I first read The Road Not Taken, I was a young teenager. I intellectually grasped the meaning.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

– – – Robert Frost

Now I understand Frost’s poem at a much deeper level.

His words, in many ways, are an apt description of my life journey. They echo my choices, often lonely, always alone, on the path to becoming a defender of immigrants in an era of immigration darkness.

Personal, Passionate, And Provocative

When I was in college, I promised myself to stay in a profession for only five years.

I was intrigued by politicians and community leaders, influenced by novelists and journalists, invigorated by public speakers and grassroots activists, and inspired by college professors and lawyers.

I could not decide which road I wanted to take. So I decided to take all of them. Not all at once, of course.

Over time, I’ve been fortunate. I have been able to serve the public in various capacities.

  • College Professor?  Check.
  • Blogger, Author, and Citizen Journalist?  Check.
  • Grassroots Organizer?  Check.
  • Community And Civil Leader?  Check.
  • Non-Profit Director and Consultant?  Check.
  • Political Office Staffer?  Check.
  • Public Speaker?  Check.
  • Election Campaign And Precinct Manager?  Check.

Why I Became A Public Speaker

Oh, yes, I grew up poor. That’s important. It gives folks a frame of reference for my zealous – some call it radical – representation of immigrants, most of whom seek the American Dream of an honest day’s wages for an honest day’s work.

Strange thing is, I don’t remember living in poverty. My sisters and I always had enough food to eat, sturdy clothes to wear, and parents who loved us.

I may not have had everything I wanted. But I had what I needed, and then some.

All this contributed to who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.

Most folks view me as an immigration lawyer first, an immigration lawyer second, and an immigration lawyer third.

After all, I have been an attorney over twenty years now.

Moreover, it’s true that being an attorney has squeezed my availability to venture into community affairs. But I still cannot completely walk away from my past callings.

Or from my commitment to help others less fortunate.

I might be a logical, rational, immigration attorney by day. Yet, when I change from ties and suits to tennis shoes and jeans, I am transformed into a blogger, educator, organizer, and advocate for immigrant rights.

And this is the way it has to be.

This duality is critical because positive immigration changes will not happen without community, civic, and political involvement. Being a lawyer is not enough.

Public speaking is one such enterprise. It allows me the chance to debunk myths about immigrants, and to build a consensus for compassionate social and political reform.

Dare To Be Bold . . . Not Boring

Are you looking for someone to provide personal reflections, provocative analysis, and passionate commentary on immigration issues?

Give me a call.

I’ll share my insights with your membership, at a public forum, or as part of an employee, company, government, or non-profit training session.

As a public speaker, I’ve worked with many organizations to create an atmosphere of energy and engagement in support of immigration issues and immigrant families. I’d love to do the same for you.

As your guest, I’ll guide your audience through no-holds-barred discussion on a broad range of topics such as:

  • No Room For Segregation In The House Of Immigration Reform
  • The Anti-Immigrant Propaganda War
  • Reflections Of An Activist Turned Lawyer
  • The Congressional War Against Due Process At Immigration Court
  • Citizenship, Immigrants, And Voter Registration: A Political Triad For Multicultural Reform
  • The Politics Of Deportations: Immigrants As Election Fodder
  • Liberation Politics And The Future Of Immigration Reform
  • Asian And Latino Youths: A Deeper Look At Varied Approaches Toward Immigration Issues
  • Political And Legal Lessons From The Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Victory
  • Filipino Family Reunification: The Battle To Restore A 75-Year Old Promise
  • The Political Invisibility Of African And Caribbean Immigrants
  • Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Immigration Reform Is Global Xenophobia In Disguise
  • Why Immigration Reform Is An Irish-American Issue
  • Immigration Reform: Think Global, Act Local
  • The Morality Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform At A Public Crossroads
  • Deferred Action And Work Permits: New Immigration Rat Trap?
  • The Battle For Immigration Justice: Why Compassion Matters
  • Immigration Hardship: A Historical View

Book Carlos For Your Next Event

When I first started to blog, one of the big name gurus advised me to stick to legal issues. Like Schoolmaster Gradgrind in Dickens’ Hard Times, he cautioned me to focus on facts, facts, facts.


I don’t like boring books.  I don’t like boring topics, and I don’t like boring speakers.

Let’s be honest, good public speaking isn’t rocket science. But it’s pretty darn hard.

Why speak to audiences if you make attendees yawn, look at their watches, shrug their shoulders, and think, “How much longer?”

I promise to be different.

I promise to be bold.

I promise to share lessons learned, and insights gained, along the less traveled path.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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