Recent immigration agency chief counsel criticizes House leadership for stalling immigration reform

“The House leadership’s procedural excuses for blocking a vote on critical immigration reform make little sense,” says Stephen Legomsky, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis and the recent Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. In that position he worked intensively with White House and DHS officials and played a major role on comprehensive immigration reform. “It’s now been 7 months since the Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. Speaker Boehner should allow the people’s elected representatives in the House to consider it without further delay,” Legomsky argues.

Repairing the U.S. asylum system

LegomskyA recent academic study confirmed empirically what many immigration experts had already suspected: The chance of winning an asylum case often hinges as much on the luck of the draw as on the merits of the case. Some adjudicators grant asylum liberally while others grant it only rarely, and the disparities are dramatic. The Stanford Law Review asked Stephen Legomsky, J.D., D.Phil., leading immigration and asylum law expert and John S. Lehmann University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, to write an article analyzing the policy implications of this study. Legomsky offers a controversial conclusion: “There are times when we simply have to learn to live with unequal justice because the alternatives are worse.”

Leading law expert says reform of legal immigration criteria needed before illegal border crossing can be curbed

Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photo”Beefing up enforcement will never put a serious dent in illegal immigration unless it goes hand in hand with major reforms of our legal immigration criteria,” says Stephen Legomsky, an internationally renowned immigration law expert at Washington University in St. Louis. He gets frustrated when he hears people suggest that undocumented immigrants are “jumping the queue,” or that undocumented immigrants “should just wait their turns like everyone else.” More…