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Angela Maria Kelley

Center for American Progress

Angela Maria Kelley

Angela M. Kelley, a well-known authority on the policy and the politics of immigration, joined the Center for American Progress in 2009 as vice president for Immigration Policy and Advocacy.

Before joining the Center, Kelley served as director of the Immigration Policy Center—the research arm of the American Immigration Law Foundation—which provides policymakers, academics, the media, and the general public with access to accurate information about the effects of immigration on the U.S. economy and society.

Prior to that, she was deputy director at the National Immigration Forum, where she headed its legislative, policy, and communications activities and oversaw its operations. During her service at the forum, Kelley was a front-line negotiator as Congress debated in 2006 and 2007 proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Other major legislative work by Kelley included the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000 which, among other things, extended the period during which undocumented workers and family members could be sponsored for permanent residence. The LIFE Act also expanded eligibility for permanent residence to some individuals who had been denied benefits under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act and the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.

Kelly was previously part of the successful NACARA and HRIFA campaigns to secure immigration benefits for certain Nicaraguans, Cubans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Haitians. She began her career as a staff attorney for Ayuda, a local services agency in Washington, D.C. representing low-income immigrants on immigration and family matters.

Last Updated: June 6, 2017