Melissa Crow, former acting deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is the new director of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center.
Crow, who also served as senior policy advisor in DHS’ Office of Immigration and Border Security, joins Beth Werlin, who was promoted to deputy director, as the center’s new leadership team.
The Legal Action Center engages in impact litigation and appears as amicus curiae before administrative tribunals and federal courts in significant immigration cases. It also provides resources to lawyers litigating immigration cases and works with other immigrants’ rights organizations and attorneys throughout the country.
Before joining DHS in February, Crow was a partner with Baltimore’s Brown, Goldstein & Levy where she practiced immigration law. As the past co-chair of the worksite enforcement committee of the local American Immigration Lawyers Association chapter, she played a critical role in responding to immigration raids in Maryland under the Bush Administration. Before entering private practice, Crow was counsel to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy during the 2007 debates on the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Werlin first joined the Legal Action Center in 2001 as a NAPIL fellow (now Equal Justice Works fellow) to work on right-to-counsel issues for non-citizens in removal proceedings. After the completion of her fellowship, she continued at the center as a staff attorney, focusing on due process issues in removal proceedings and federal court litigation. In 2005, she led the center’s efforts to launch the Litigation Clearinghouse, which has developed into an integral resource for immigration litigators nationwide.