COVID-19 Response Update
To learn more about policies, procedures, and updates for the Brooklyn Law School community, visit COVID-19 Information.

Professor Stacy Caplow Op-ed on Immigration-related Executive Pardons in Miami Herald


An op-ed by Professor Stacy Caplow advocating executive pardons for currently law-abiding immigrants appeared in The Miami Herald on Jan. 8.

Caplow writes that the president-elect’s threat to deport non-citizens who have past criminal records “reinforces the menacing trope of the ‘criminal alien’ without paying attention to the significant number of people with criminal records whose deportation would be a great injustice to their families and ignore their successful rehabilitation.”

“Immigration law, as well as anti-immigrant rhetoric, makes no distinctions between noncitizens convicted of most types of crimes even if they are lawfully present, have deep roots in, and make contributions, to the community and were convicted years ago,” Caplow explains in her op-ed.

Because executive pardons require no legislative action, the president has a straightforward means to address large-scale injustice. Caplow suggests the United States adopt a system, similar to those used in Canada and New Zealand, that assigns points to lawful permanent residents at risk of deportation that take into account relevant factors such as the individual’s contributions to society, ties to the community, and special health circumstances.

In the op-ed, Caplow cites the work by students in the Brooklyn Law School Safe Harbor Project to submit pardon applications to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Professor Caplow is a leader in the field of clinical legal education. She is Brooklyn Law School’s first dean overseeing all aspects of clinical and experiential education. She also serves as co-director of the new Center for Criminal Justice. At the Law School, Caplow teaches criminal law and immigration law and co-directs the Safe Harbor Project. She assisted Hong Kong University in developing a clinical program and spent a semester as a Fulbright Scholar at University College Cork, Ireland. In 2014, she taught at the Center for Law and Business in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is the co-author of Multidefendant Criminal Cases: Federal Law and Procedure, and writes about criminal law, immigration law, and clinical education topics.

Read the op-ed here.