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.

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

Written by on August 5, 2013 in Immigration Courts, Legislation, State and Local with 0 Comments
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

Written by on March 13, 2013 in Enforcement, Uncategorized with 0 Comments
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

Written by on May 1, 2012 in Enforcement with 2 Comments
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?

Written by on September 21, 2011 in Employment and Wages, Humanitarian Protection with 0 Comments
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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