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.

Government Regularly Denies Access to Counsel, Groups Seek New Rules

Written by on May 25, 2017 in Due Process & the Courts, Right to Counsel with 1 Comment
Government Regularly Denies Access to Counsel, Groups Seek New Rules

When the White House issued its first Muslim travel ban, reports of noncitizens and citizens being held in airports’ secondary detention swirled. Individuals were being held for hours at a time without access to attorneys, even though scores of lawyers were attempting to reach them. Denial of access to counsel in secondary detention is not […]

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Increased Role of Police in Immigration Enforcement Heightens Need for Suppression of Unlawfully Obtained Evidence

Written by on March 28, 2017 in Due Process & the Courts, Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Increased Role of Police in Immigration Enforcement Heightens Need for Suppression of Unlawfully Obtained Evidence

Under the Trump administration’s recent executive order on interior enforcement, state and local police are being pressured to work closely with immigration officers to carry out sweeping immigration enforcement actions. Advocates fear that this approach will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities and undermine public safety and trust between these communities and police. In addition, […]

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New Lawsuit Challenges Preliminary Injunction in United States v. Texas

New Lawsuit Challenges Preliminary Injunction in United States v. Texas

In February 2015, a court in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction in the case challenging the expansion of President’s Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and the launch of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The injunction effectively halted implementation of the initiatives and also rolled back […]

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Ninth Circuit Decision Should Prompt End to Family Detention

Written by on July 8, 2016 in Detention, Due Process & the Courts with 0 Comments
Ninth Circuit Decision Should Prompt End to Family Detention

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the Flores Settlement (a 1997 agreement that set legal standards for the detention and release of immigrant children) applies to both unaccompanied and accompanied minors. The Court also found that neither Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and release policies at existing family detention centers nor the ICE […]

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Thousands of Children Now Covered in Access to Counsel Lawsuit

Written by on June 28, 2016 in Immigration Courts, Right to Counsel with 0 Comments
Thousands of Children Now Covered in Access to Counsel Lawsuit

Last week, a federal court certified a class in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s failure to provide legal representation to children in deportation proceedings. Several thousand children are estimated to be members of the class. This lawsuit, F.L.B. v. Lynch, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. It charges the Departments of Justice, Homeland […]

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Latest Flores Filing Highlights Stories of Children and Mothers Unlawfully Detained by Obama Administration

Written by on May 20, 2016 in Enforcement, Immigration Courts with 0 Comments
Latest Flores Filing Highlights Stories of Children and Mothers Unlawfully Detained by Obama Administration

This week, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) asked a federal judge to order the government to comply with the Flores settlement and appoint an independent monitor to oversee the Obama Administration’s ongoing family detention policy.

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Texas’ Distorted View of the Legal Basis for DAPA and Expanded DACA

Written by on April 27, 2016 in DACA/DAPA, Federal Courts/Jurisdiction with 1 Comment
Texas’ Distorted View of the Legal Basis for DAPA and Expanded DACA

On April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas, a case brought by 26 states to challenge President Obama’s deferred action initiatives, known as expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). While the arguments focused largely […]

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Hundreds of Groups Weigh in on Immigration Case Headed to Supreme Court

Hundreds of Groups Weigh in on Immigration Case Headed to Supreme Court

A diverse coalition of 326 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today in United States v. Texas, urging the court to lift the injunction that has blocked the deferred action initiatives that President Obama announced in November 2014. In the brief—filed by the […]

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What’s Next in the Supreme Court Case on Expanded DACA and DAPA?

Written by on January 20, 2016 in Executive Action, Federal Courts/Jurisdiction with 0 Comments
What’s Next in the Supreme Court Case on Expanded DACA and DAPA?

This week, the Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments in United States v. Texas. The highest court will now determine whether the President’s deferred action initiatives announced in November 2014, known as expanded DACA and DAPA, constitute a lawful exercise of executive discretion. The Supreme Court’s decision could clear the way for the initiatives […]

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

Written by on August 22, 2014 in Due Process & the Courts, Enforcement 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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