Mary Giovagnoli is the Director of the Immigration Policy Center. Prior to IPC, Mary served as Senior Director of Policy for the National Immigration Forum and practiced law as an attorney with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security—serving first as a trial attorney and associate general counsel with the INS, and, following the creation of DHS, as an associate chief counsel for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Mary specialized in asylum and refugee law, focusing on the impact of general immigration laws on asylees. In 2005, Mary became the senior advisor to the Director of Congressional Relations at USCIS. She was also awarded a Congressional Fellowship from USCIS to serve for a year in Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s office where she worked on comprehensive immigration reform and refugee issues. Mary attended Drake University, graduating summa cum laude with a major in speech communication. She received a master’s degree in rhetoric and completed additional graduate coursework in rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin, before receiving a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She spent more than ten years teaching public speaking, argumentation and debate, and parliamentary procedure while pursuing her education.
This week, President Obama concluded that the House would not act on immigration reform this year, leading him to announce that he would use his executive authority to fix what he could of the immigration system on his own. This is a welcome decision, although details of his plans are unlikely to unfold until later [...]
The White House informed Congress Monday that it would seek additional funding for an aggressive border enforcement strategy designed to thwart the dramatic increase in unaccompanied minors and families crossing the southwestern border, to expend more resources on fighting traffickers and drug smugglers, and to work closely with Mexico and Central American countries to end [...]
On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed S. 744, an ambitious, bipartisan comprehensive reform of our immigration system. Although far from perfect, it represented a genuine effort to wrestle with the complex, confusing, and highly emotional train wreck that has become our immigration system. In the months that followed, a small bipartisan team in the [...]
A year ago this week, senators introduced S. 744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill, to much fanfare. It was a high point for the immigration reform movement, only to be eclipsed by the bipartisan vote to move the bill out of committee and then, in June 2013, final passage in the Senate itself. Thus far, [...]
Reactions to the release of the House GOP leadership’s principles for immigration reform ranged from ecstatic to furious yesterday—and that was just within the Republican Party. Outside the tortured world of House politics, reactions tended more toward cautious praise for releasing something as a starting point, but with serious doubts about the shortcomings of the [...]
The Department of Homeland Security enters 2014 with new leadership, following the confirmation this month of Jeh Johnson and Alejandro Mayorkas for Secretary and Deputy Secretary, respectively. Johnson and Mayorkas bring years of government service to their new jobs. Mayorkas’ tenure as Director of USCIS led to a [...]
One of the significant lessons of 2013 is that good immigration policy matters to the American public. It’s unfortunate, then, that the House Judiciary Committee is choosing to end its year focusing not on immigration reform, but on how best to take the President to task for making use of executive authority.
In an effort to preserve harmony at the Thanksgiving table, we have for the last several years offered up tips on making the case for immigration reform in front of, what is for many, the most hostile audience of all—their families. Even in the most congenial of families, there’s likely to be someone who can [...]
In the classic baseball movie Bull Durham, Kevin Costner’s eyes go misty as he talks about how great it was to be “in the show” (the major league) for 21 days before being kicked back down to minor league ball. Immigration reform was in the show this spring for 60 days or so, ending in [...]
For years, leading family and children’s advocates have argued that the bond between parent and child is often a casualty of our broken immigration system. Consequently, they have argued that ensuring parental rights in the context of immigration proceedings is critical—whether the issue is about determining who should have custody of an unaccompanied minor, exercising [...]