Tom Jawetz

Senior Fellow



Tom Jawetz

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Tom Jawetz is a senior fellow for Immigration Policy at American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, Jawetz served as deputy general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2021 to 2022. Previously, he was vice president of Immigration Policy at American Progress from 2015 to 2021, after serving as chief counsel on the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. In that capacity, Jawetz devised and executed strategies for immigration-related hearings and markups before the Committee on the Judiciary and legislation on the House floor. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and advised members of Congress and congressional staff on all areas of immigration law and policy.

Prior to his time at the Judiciary Committee, Jawetz worked as the immigration detention staff attorney at the National Prison Project, a part of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). There, he represented detainees in class action and individual challenges to unlawful conditions of confinement and twice testified before Congress. While at ACLU, he investigated abuses in Louisiana jails and prisons during and after Hurricane Katrina and co-authored the report “Abandoned and Abused: Orleans Parish Prisoners in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina.” Jawetz previously represented asylum-seekers in judicial and administrative proceedings with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Jawetz holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.


How Executive Action Can Build a More Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System Article
Giagnna Mendez, originally from Peru, participates in a swearing-in ceremony to become an American citizen on June 4, 2020, in Miami. (Getty/Joe Raedle)

How Executive Action Can Build a More Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System

The Biden administration can jump-start a series of necessary reforms by issuing a clear and expansive executive order in its first days that condemns the damage caused to the immigration system by the past administration, pauses deportations, and outlines principles to guide policy development over the next four years.

Tom Jawetz

Immigrants as Essential Workers During COVID-19 Testimony

Immigrants as Essential Workers During COVID-19

Tom Jawetz, vice president for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on September 23, 2020.

Tom Jawetz

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