Debu Gandhi is the senior director of Immigration Policy at American Progress. In this role, he leads the organization’s efforts to fix the badly broken immigration system.
Before joining American Progress, Gandhi served as chief counsel for immigration for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He provided guidance to Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the Democratic caucus on immigration law, legislative strategy, vote recommendations, and messaging. He also conducted bipartisan legislative negotiations and served as the lead staffer for hearings on the American Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act. He previously served as a Judiciary Committee counsel and associate counsel to Sen. Durbin, the then minority whip and ranking member of the Immigration Subcommittee. In addition to leading multiple legislative efforts, Gandhi led oversight initiatives on federal agency immigration policies and drafted questions for the nomination hearings of Supreme Court justices, attorneys general, and other nominees.
Earlier in his career, he worked as a federal legislative analyst for six Native American tribes, as an immigration attorney representing individuals and businesses, and as a state legislative aide. Gandhi holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, a master’s in political science from Illinois State University, and a bachelor’s in politics from Willamette University.