Melissa Crow

Melissa Crow is the Director of the Legal Action Center. Ms. Crow served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, and previously as a Senior Policy Advisor, in the Office of Immigration and Border Security at the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining DHS, she was a partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed a thriving immigration practice and undertook litigation to protect immigrants' rights in the workplace. As the past co-chair of the Worksite Enforcement Committee of the local AILA chapter, she played a critical role in responding to immigration raids in Maryland under the Bush Administration. Before entering private practice, Melissa served as Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy during the 2007 debates on the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. She also spent a year as the Gulf Coast Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. She has taught in the Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School and the International Human Rights Clinic at Washington College of Law.

Why Groups Are Suing the Government over Rushed Deportation Process for Mothers and Children

Written by on August 22, 2014 in Deportation, Due Process, Family with 0 Comments
Why Groups Are Suing the Government over Rushed Deportation Process for Mothers and Children

As families from Central America flee violence and persecution to seek refuge in the United States, hundreds of mothers and their children apprehended after crossing the border have been locked up at an isolated detention center in Artesia, New Mexico—hours from the nearest major metropolitan area. Two hundred and eighty women and children have been [...]

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Courts Continue to Reject Arizona Style Laws, Even as House Embraces SAFE Act

Courts Continue to Reject Arizona Style Laws, Even as House Embraces SAFE Act

Last year, in Arizona v. United States, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the federal government, rather than the states, has both the responsibility and the authority to enforce immigration law.  Leaving immigration enforcement to the whims of individual state legislatures and law enforcement officers was, according to the Court, likely to undermine the federal framework [...]

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Groups File Legal Claims Against Border Patrol In Abuse Cases

Groups File Legal Claims Against Border Patrol In Abuse Cases

While the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration officers have broad authority to detain and ultimately deport noncitizens, they are generally not authorized to detain U.S. citizens and certainly cannot deport them. Yet, that is essentially what happened to a four-year-old U.S. citizen.  In March 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of [...]

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Federal Judges Remind Government to Consider Prosecutorial Discretion

Federal Judges Remind Government to Consider Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion is the authority of a law enforcement agency or officer to decide whether and to what degree to enforce the law in particular cases.  The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative continues to be a successful example of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration context.  However the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) often [...]

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Border Patrol Agents Abusing Role as Interpreters

Border Patrol Agents Abusing Role as Interpreters

Over the past year, advocates in states along the northern border of the United States have reported that Border Patrol agents frequently “assist” local law enforcement officers by serving as Spanish-English interpreters and participating in 911 dispatch activities. Capitalizing on their access to noncitizens, Border Patrol agents are using these opportunities to facilitate immigration enforcement. [...]

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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses…But Don’t Let Them Work?

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses…But Don’t Let Them Work?

BY MELISSA CROW AND EMILY CREIGHTON Every year, thousands of people flee persecution in their home countries and seek safe haven in the United States. Many of them spend their entire savings on the journey, travel under life-threatening conditions, and arrive on our shores with not much more than the clothes on their backs. Those [...]

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Obama Administration Seeks Balance Between Labor and Immigration Law Enforcement

Obama Administration Seeks Balance Between Labor and Immigration Law Enforcement

Last week President Obama issued a blueprint for a twenty-first century immigration policy that highlighted, among other things, the need to promote accountability for employers who deliberately hire and exploit undocumented workers. The Administration’s recommendations for achieving this goal include a better employment verification system, more comprehensive anti-retaliation protections for workers, and a legalization program [...]

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Kafka Revisited: Ninth Circuit Decision Protects Due Process Rights for Noncitizens

Written by on November 30, 2010 in Courts, Immigration Law with 4 Comments
Kafka Revisited: Ninth Circuit Decision Protects Due Process Rights for Noncitizens

The basic tenet that you can’t be sued without knowing the charges against you and having a meaningful opportunity to defend yourself is a cornerstone of the U.S. judicial system. This concept of fundamental fairness ensures that people in courtrooms across the country have access to a discovery process that enables them to see the [...]

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