Mary Giovagnoli

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.

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How an Investor Visa Program Helps Stimulate Economic Growth

Written by on September 30, 2014 in Business, Economics, Visas with 0 Comments
How an Investor Visa Program Helps Stimulate Economic Growth

The State Department recently announced that, for the first time ever, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has reached its cap of 10,000 visas, largely due to an increase in Chinese investors. Although the EB-5 program—employment-based, fifth preference (or category)—has been around since 1990, the growth in its popularity as an investment tool has risen during [...]

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Why the President Has Authority to Act on Deportations

Why the President Has Authority to Act on Deportations

The Washington Post published an editorial last week that missed the mark on whether the President has the authority to limit deportations of undocumented immigrants, concluding President Obama would be “tearing up the Constitution” by doing so. The New York Times editorial board followed up Sunday with their more accurate assessment that it “would be [...]

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House Uses Unaccompanied Kids as Excuse for More Enforcement, Less Due Process

Written by on August 4, 2014 in Border, Congress, Restrictionists with 0 Comments
House Uses Unaccompanied Kids as Excuse for More Enforcement, Less Due Process

Congress adjourned last week without passing a supplemental spending bill to cover the costs of managing the influx of unaccompanied minors and families in the Rio Grande Valley. If the issue had simply been one of how much of President Obama’s $3.7 billion request actually would be appropriated, there might have been a compromise. The [...]

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Report Says Obama Should “Go Big” on Immigration Action

Written by on July 2, 2014 in President Obama, Reform with 4 Comments
Report Says Obama Should “Go Big” on Immigration Action

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 [...]

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Effort to Quickly Deport Child Migrants Fails to Address the Problem

Effort to Quickly Deport Child Migrants Fails to Address the Problem

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 [...]

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The Legacy of S. 744, the Senate Immigration Reform Bill

The Legacy of S. 744, the Senate Immigration Reform Bill

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 [...]

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On Immigration, Legislative Reform and Administrative Action Are Not at Odds

On Immigration, Legislative Reform and Administrative Action Are Not at Odds

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, [...]

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Are GOP Immigration Standards Enough to Shake Up the Conversation?

Are GOP Immigration Standards Enough to Shake Up the Conversation?

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 [...]

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New Year, New Leadership and New Opportunities at DHS

New Year, New Leadership and New Opportunities at DHS

              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 [...]

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Will New USCIS Memos Confuse House Judiciary Committee Again?

Will New USCIS Memos Confuse House Judiciary Committee Again?

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.

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