Stanford Law School’s Lucas Guttentag Joins Justice Department to Advise Biden Administration on Immigration Policy

STANFORD, Ca., September 15, 2021 – Stanford Law School’s Lucas Guttentag has joined the Biden administration as senior counselor for immigration policy to the Department of Justice’s Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Guttentag served in the Obama administration from 2014-2016 as a senior adviser on immigration policy, including as senior counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson. He is on leave of absence from the law school.

Lucas Guttentag

Guttentag has a long history of expertise in immigration law and rights. He founded the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation in 1985 and was its national director for 25 years. He argued major class action and constitutional cases on behalf of immigrants before the U.S. Supreme Court and many federal circuit and district courts for three decades. In January 2021, Guttentag launched the Immigration Policy Tracking Project website, profiled in the New Yorker and New York Times, that is the most comprehensive accounting and analysis of all the immigration policies and actions of the Trump administration.

Previously, Guttentag successfully argued cases in the Supreme Court that established the right of immigrants to have independent federal judicial review of administrative deportation orders and preserved waivers of deportation for noncitizens with criminal convictions.  He has litigated other cases that challenged the indefinite detention of Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Naval Base, required new asylum hearings for hundreds of thousands of asylum applicants from El Salvador and Guatemala, immigrants who marry during deportation hearings, and overturned state and local immigration laws.

Guttentag was named a Human Rights Hero by the American Bar Association’s Human Rights journal in 2001, was honored as one of the leading immigration advocates of the last 25 years by the National Immigration Forum in 2007, and was chosen as California Lawyer of the Year for Appellate Law by California Lawyer magazine in 2002. He has received the annual outstanding litigation award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association four times.

Guttentag has taught courses at Stanford Law School since 2012 and was appointed Professor of the Practice of Law in 2014. He received his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School and his BA with honors from the University of California at Berkeley. Early in his career, he served as law clerk to Judge William Wayne Justice in Texas and practiced civil rights law in Los Angeles. In addition to being on the Stanford faculty, he regularly teaches at Yale Law School.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global expertise, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.