Stephen H. Legomsky

Stephen H. Legomsky

Legomsky’s law school text, “Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy,” has been the required text at 185 law schools. He is frequently called upon by governments and the media to weigh in on policies that affect immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The former WashU law school professor — who has enjoyed emeritus status since retiring in 2015 — has appeared before Congress on a number of occasions, most recently before the House and the Senate Judiciary committees on the legality of President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions.

Reacting to the Trump administration’s announcement this summer to detain migrant families together instead of separating parents from their children, Stephen Legomsky, a recognized authority on U.S. and international immigration law, noted that detaining families at the border makes no sense and worse, is inhumane:

“Jailing a migrant family together is better than tearing the family apart, but a jail by any other name is still a jail…It is both cruel and unnecessary to mandate the criminal prosecution of traumatized, asylum-seeking families fleeing unspeakable violence for the misdemeanor of entry without inspection.”

Legomsky served as chief counsel of USCIS, the federal immigration services agency of the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama Administration. Additionally, he has served as a consultant to the transition teams for the Clinton and Obama administrations, as well as President George H.W. Bush’s Commissioner of Immigration. Internationally, Legomsky’s policy expertise has been sought by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as by several foreign governments. Major news outlets ranging from the PBS News Hour to “The New York Times” turn to him for expert commentary.

Legomsky is the moderator for the panel, “Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Crisis in U.S. Policy” on September 20, 2018.


The New York Times: Economic Impact of Immigration

NPR: The History of Asylum Laws

The Washington Post: Most Americans oppose key parts of Trump immigration plans, including wall, limits on citizens bringing family to U.S., poll says

NPR: Trump Administration Moves To Penalize Immigrants For Using Government Benefits