Tom
Jawetz

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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.

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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

5 Immediate Steps To Rein in DHS in the Wake of Portland Report
 (People gather to protest in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland, Oregon, on July 27, 2020.)

5 Immediate Steps To Rein in DHS in the Wake of Portland

The recent actions by U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel on the streets of Portland, Oregon, and across the country raise significant concerns about a department out of control.

Tom Jawetz, Philip E. Wolgin, Claudia Flores

The Trump Administration Must Immediately Resume Processing New DACA Applications Article
People hold signs during a rally in support of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in San Diego, June 18, 2020. (Getty/Sandy Huffaker)

The Trump Administration Must Immediately Resume Processing New DACA Applications

As the Supreme Court’s decision goes into effect, the Trump administration must now allow 300,000 young people to file new applications for DACA, including 55,500 of the youngest DACA-eligible individuals who did not previously have the chance to apply.

Nicole Svajlenka, Tom Jawetz, Philip E. Wolgin

Federal Immigration Officials Must Take Immediate Action To Prevent Further Coronavirus Outbreaks at Detention Facilities Article
Detainees sit on their beds in a privately run 1,000 bed detention center, February 2006, in Otay Mesa, California. (Getty/Robert Nickelsberg)

Federal Immigration Officials Must Take Immediate Action To Prevent Further Coronavirus Outbreaks at Detention Facilities

As COVID-19 spreads exponentially at detention facilities nationwide, ICE’s inadequate response is leaving tens of thousands of detainees and facility staff, as well as broader communities, increasingly vulnerable.

Sofia Carratala, Tom Jawetz

Federal Immigration Officials Can Help Protect Public Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic Article
People walk through the parking lot as they visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Miramar, Florida, on March 13, 2020. (Getty/Joe Raedle)

Federal Immigration Officials Can Help Protect Public Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

While some local law enforcement agencies have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak by diverting people away from prisons and jails and by releasing particularly vulnerable incarcerated individuals, federal immigration officials are continuing to endanger the lives and safety of detained people and undermine public health.

Tom Jawetz, Ed Chung

DACA Recipients’ Livelihoods, Families, and Sense of Security Are at Stake This November Article
A woman takes part in a New York City march against President Trump's decision to end DACA, September 2017. (Getty/Corbis News/VIEWpress/Kena Betancur)

DACA Recipients’ Livelihoods, Families, and Sense of Security Are at Stake This November

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the fate of DACA, new results show that the initiative remains critical for recipients, their families, and the economy.

Tom K. Wong, Sanaa Abrar, Claudia Flores, 5 More Tom Jawetz, Ignacia Rodriguez Kmec, Greisa Martinez Rosas, Holly Straut-Eppsteiner, Philip E. Wolgin

A new Trump administration rule undermines key protections and sanitary standards for migrant children. The move is dangerous and cruel. In the News

A new Trump administration rule undermines key protections and sanitary standards for migrant children. The move is dangerous and cruel.

Tom Jawetz argues that the Trump administration's new rule undermining the Flores agreement would further put migrant children entering the United States in danger by eliminating basic, important safeguards.

Business Insider

Tom Jawetz

Building a More Dynamic Economy: The Benefits of Immigration Testimony

Building a More Dynamic Economy: The Benefits of Immigration

Tom Jawetz, vice president for Immigration Policy at American Progress, testified before a hearing on the benefits of immigration at the U.S. House of Representatives on June 26, 2019.

Tom Jawetz

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