Tulane Law alumni and federal Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo (L'86), paid homage recently to America's immigrants at an event honoring community leaders in Philadelphia.
Restrepo, who was born in Colombia and migrated to the United States in 1962 with his parents, spoke at the “I Am An American Immigrant” event honoring four Philadelphia community leaders who are also immigrants. The event was sponsored by aldianews.com as part of a series of stories honoring immigrants who’ve made an impact on the City of Brotherly Love.
He offered his own immigration experiences, and sage advice about taking pride in your heritage while embracing your new home. It took Restrepo 31 years to become a U.S. citizen, he said, as he and his siblings worked towards a path to citizenship.
“Being an immigrant in the United States is not a zero-sum game. Don’t feel like it’s either or in terms of your ethnic identity. We should be proud of our heritage, practice our native language, and know the history of our native country,” Restrepo told those gathered.
pa href=“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWeaU-MMj8E“ title=“Watch Judge Restrepo's speech.“>Watch Judge Restrepo's speech.
Restrepo, a dedicated Tulanian, in March presided with two other judges over the law school’s Moot Court Honorary Round competition; stranded in New Orleans because of a Nor’easter back in Philadelphia, he stayed an extra day and taught some oral arguments basics to first-year law classes.
In the Spring, President Trump nominated Restrepo, who is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Restrepo was a seasoned trial lawyer before being appointed to the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, first as a Magistrate Judge, then as a District Judge, and finally as a U.S. Circuit Judge on the Third Circuit in 2016. He was President Obama’s last appointment to the appellate courts.