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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]