Camille J. Mackler, Esq. is a Senior Visiting Fellow on Immigration at the Truman Center for National Security and is the Executive Director of the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative (Immigrant ARC), which she helped form and has led since February, 2017. Born out of the momentum of the legal response to the Travel Ban at JFK airport in January, 2017, Immigrant ARC is a legal service provider collaborative of over 80 organizational members who pool expertise and resources to protect immigrants in the face of increasingly draconian immigration enforcement.
Ms. Mackler is also currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Truman Center for National Policy, where she is working on researching and highlighting intersections between immigration policy, national security, and foreign relations.
Prior to transforming Immigrant ARC into an independent non-profit organization, Ms. Mackler was the Director of Immigration Legal Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition. In that role, she led advocacy campaigns to improve laws and policies for the benefit of immigrants across New York State. Ms. Mackler has led a number of important campaigns and efforts, including, coordinating legal efforts at JFK airport during the travel ban and at the Albany County Jail after the largest one-time transfer of asylum seekers from the Southern Border to New York State. She has successfully advocated for protections for immigrants seeking legal assistance, including successfully pushing for significant increases in public funding of immigration legal services in both New York City and New York State, and recently helped draft legislation creating the first right to universal representation of immigrants in the country.
Ms. Mackler is a frequent lecturer on topics of immigration law and policy and has authored numerous reports on federal immigration policy, including on immigration detention, immigration enforcement, and state and local responses.
In 2014 Ms. Mackler helped draft and pass a 2014 New York State law addressing immigration legals services fraud, deemed one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the country, and created and chairs the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers (PINY) Task Force, a group of federal, state, and local government and law enforcement agencies, grassroot advocates, and legal service providers that works on reducing instances of immigration services fraud. Ms. Mackler also worked directly with New York State government to create and shape the Office for New Americans, the nation’s first permanent state agency exclusively dedicated to the wellbeing of immigrants and, more recently, the Legal Defense Project, a unique public-private partnership spearheaded by Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide immigration legal services to New Yorkers. Ms. Mackler has also worked on numerous pieces of legislation in New York State and New York City aimed at support immigrant New Yorkers.
Nationally, Ms. Mackler helped to obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nepal in 2015 and to have Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia re-designated for TPS in 2016. She has worked on legislation to provide status to immigrant 9/11 first responders as well as legislative efforts to combat immigration services fraud. She also works closely with Congressional staffers on issues relating principally to access to justice and access to counsel for immigrants. She is an immigration attorney with over fifteen years of experience representing immigrants before US Immigration Courts and Federal Courts of Appeals and a frequent lecturer on immigration laws and policies.
Prior to joining the NYIC, Ms. Mackler was in private practice and focused primarily on asylum and refugee, deportation proceedings, immigration detention, and family-based immigration issues. Ms. Mackler has a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She currently serves as the Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Immigration Representation and is a Security Fellow in the Truman National Security Project. As the daughter of celebrated journalist Peter Mackler, Ms. Mackler is also committed to supporting training and protections for ethical journalism worldwide. To that end, and in partnership with Agence France-Presse and Reporters Without Borders, she helped establish the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, shaping the award program in its early years. She continues to sit on the Board of the Global Media Forum Training Group, which oversees the Award.