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Lucas Guttentag Joins USCIS as Senior Counselor to Director Rodriguez

September 10, 2014 (2 min read)

"Stanford Law School’s Lucas Guttentag began serving the Obama administration today as Senior Counselor to the recently confirmed Director of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), Leon Rodriguez. USCIS is a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  “I’m honored and delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the administration at this very important time on an issue to which I’ve devoted most of my professional life,” said Guttentag, who has taught courses at Stanford Law School (SLS) since 2012 and was appointed Professor of the Practice of Law in 2014.  ... Guttentag described his new role as “advising the director on policy matters in support of the administration’s efforts to improve and reform the immigration system.”  The White House announced last weekend that President Obama has decided to postpone action on immigration reform until after the November elections.  Guttentag has a long history of expertise in immigration law and rights.  He founded the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation in 1985 and was its national director for 25 years.  He has argued major class action and constitutional cases on behalf of immigrants before the U.S. Supreme Court and many federal circuit and district courts for three decades.  In 2001 he successfully argued a case in the Supreme Court that established the right of immigrants to have independent federal judicial review of administrative deportation orders.  He has litigated other cases that challenged the indefinite detention of Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Naval Base, a federal law penalizing citizens and immigrants who marry during deportation hearings, and numerous challenges to state and local immigration laws.  Guttentag was named a Human Rights Hero by the American Bar Association’s Human Rights journal in 2001, was honored as one of the leading immigration advocates of the last 25 years by the National Immigration Forum in 2007, and was chosen as California Lawyer of the Year for Appellate Law by California Lawyer magazine in 2002.  He received the annual outstanding litigation award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association four times.  He received his JD *** laude from Harvard Law School and his BA with honors from the University of California at Berkeley.  Early in his career, he served as law clerk to Judge William Wayne Justice in Texas and practiced civil rights law in Los Angeles.  In addition to being on the Stanford faculty, he was regularly teaching at Yale Law School." - SLS News, Sept. 8, 2014.