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Angela Maria Kelley

Vice President, Immigration Policy

Expertise: Immigration, media

Angela Maria Kelley, a well-known authority on the policy and the politics of immigration, joined American Progress in 2009 as Vice President for Immigration Policy. As Vice President, Kelley applies her many years of experience in the immigration field to the Center’s immigration policy work. In the years since Kelley’s arrival to American Progress, the organization has published numerous impactful reports and analyses on a range of immigration issues including the economic impact of state anti-immigrant laws, the economic value of immigration reform, the cost of mass deportation, and the integration trends of America’s newcomers. Kelley is widely quoted in the press, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico, and makes frequent radio and television appearances, including appearances on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR.

Before joining American Progress in 2009, Kelley served as director of the Immigration Policy Center, a research and rapid-response organization providing policymakers, academics, the media, and the general public with access to accurate information about the effects of immigration on the U.S. economy and society. Prior to that Kelley was deputy director at the National Immigration Forum, where she headed its legislative, policy, and communications activities and oversaw its operations. During her service at the Forum, Kelley was a frontline negotiator as Congress debated proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Kelley was also at the forefront of advocacy that secured key legislative victories including the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, and the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.

Kelley, the daughter of South American immigrants, began her career as an attorney for a legal services agency in Washington, D.C., representing low-income immigrants on immigration and family matters. She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and a Georgetown University Law School Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.