Media gallery

Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Residence

Angela Maria Kelley

Public Address: Immigration Policy and Politics in 2020: Separating Fact from Fiction
7 p.m., Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Watkins Room, Trone Student Center, Furman University

Angela Maria Kelley was on Furman’s campus February 24 – 27, 2020.

The issue of both legal and illegal immigration promises to remain a major focus of the 2020 presidential election. In recent years, Congress and Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been unable to enact meaningful legislation to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to the country or develop a plan for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. However, the Trump administration has taken controversial steps to reduce the numbers of legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and asylum seekers coming to America. In addition, this past November, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding whether the Trump administration can shut down the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows certain young undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. and work legally, but does not provide them a path to citizenship.

Our Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Angela Maria Kelley examined trends in U.S. immigration policy and law, current challenges and controversies, and what the 2020 presidential candidates propose as the best approach to resolving this divisive issue.

About Angela Maria Kelley

Angela Maria Kelley is the senior strategic advisor for immigration at the non-partisan, non-profit, Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center. Her work focuses on the policies and politics of immigration and integration at the state and federal level.

From 2015 – 2017, Kelley served as the executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and a senior vice president at the Center for American Progress (CAP). In 2014, she served as a White House advisor on immigration executive actions. She also was director of the Immigration Policy Center and the deputy director of the National Immigration Forum where she managed the organization’s legislative, communications, and policy work.

Kelley, a daughter of South American immigrants, began her career as a legal services attorney, representing low-income immigrants. She received her JD from the George Washington University Law School and she was a Georgetown University Law School Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.