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Experts available to comment on immigration

Media Contact

Emory University experts are available to comment on President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and the challenges faced by America’s immigrants and immigration system.

Polly J. Price

Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Law, Professor of Global Health

Emory University School of Law

“Under President Obama, both President Trump and congressional Republicans criticized the use of executive orders for immigration matters. Now the reverse is true, yet there are clear limits to President Trump's ability to direct immigration policy from the White House. Congress is a necessary partner, especially to approve the astronomical sums necessary to fulfill Trump's directive.

“And only Congress can fix the real problem -- the woeful state of America's immigration courts. The immigration court system is widely recognized to be underfunded and under-staffed, with its resources lagging far behind those provided to CBP and ICE. Immigration courts face an immense if not overwhelming backlog of nearly one-half million cases, leading to lengthy delays and increasingly high levels of detention.”

Price is the author of two books and numerous articles on American legal history, citizenship, property rights, and the judiciary. At Emory, Price teaches citizenship and immigration law, torts, legislation and regulation, American legal history, global public health law, and Latin American legal systems.

Contact: Elaine Justice, 404-727-0643 w, 404-276-8263 c

Polly Price:, 404-727-7869

Marie Marquardt


Candler School of Theology, Emory University

As a scholar and immigration advocate, Marie Marquardt has spoken in classrooms and communities across the nation about how the U.S. immigration system is broken and why it needs to be repaired. She is co-chair of El Refugio, a non-profit program that aids immigrants detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, a private prison operated by Corrections Corporation of America under contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She’s had a close view of both the system’s flaws as well as its human costs.

Marquardt also is an author of young adult fiction. Her latest book, “The Radius of Us,” deals with the hardships that Latin American teens face in fleeing gang violence and seeking asylum in the U.S.

“Beginning in about 2013, the Stewart Detention Center saw a surprising shift. The people who were requesting visits from El Refugio were increasingly teenagers and young adults who’d been detained at the U.S./Mexico border and flown to Stewart. In most cases, they weren’t trying to sneak into the U.S., but were actually presenting themselves to the U.S. Border Patrol to seek asylum. No criminal record, no criminal activity. And almost all of them were deported back to dangerous communities in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Most of what is happening in their communities is linked to gang violence, recruitment and extortion.”

Contact: Elaine Justice, 404-727-0643 w, 404-276-8263 c

Marie Marquardt:

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