portrait of professor lenni benson

Lenni B. Benson

Distinguished Chair in Immigration and Human Rights Law
Founder and Senior Advisor, Safe Passage Project

Lenni B. Benson

Distinguished Chair in Immigration and Human Rights Law
Founder and Senior Advisor, Safe Passage Project

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Lenni B. Benson has been teaching and writing in the field of immigration law since 1994. She is the Distinguished Chair of Immigration and Human Rights Law at New York Law School. She founded the Safe Passage Project, which recruits, trains, and mentors attorneys to assist unaccompanied youth who are facing deportation. Safe Passage Project began as an NYLS pro bono project/clinic and is now a nonprofit with a staff of over 40 professionals housed at NYLS that partners with the School clinic. Safe Passage Project is currently assisting over 1,000 unaccompanied minors in New York. More than 500 pro bono attorneys are working with the Project.

Professor Benson has won national awards for her pro bono leadership and excellence in immigration teaching. She has served as a member of several national task forces on the needs of migrant youth, and has been a speaker for the federal government at national trainings. She also served as one of the founding steering committee members of the American Immigration Representation Project formed in 2017 to expand pro bono representation of detained immigrants that is part of the national project.

In 2012, she completed, with Russell Wheeler, a study of the immigration courts for the federal government’s Administrative Conference of the United States. She served as the chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 2012 to the end of 2014.

Professor Benson is an emeritus trustee of the American Immigration Law Foundation (now the American Immigration Council), is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and served on the board of the Center for Human and Constitutional Rights. Her co-authored book Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Strategies was published by LexisNexis 2013, a new edition was issued in December of 2019 by Carolina Academic Press.  In addition to teaching at NYLS, she has also served as an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.

Most recently, Professor Benson edited an academic volume of international essays with Professor Mary Crock of the University of Sydney entitled Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice (Elgar Press 2018). She will prepare a new book for Elgar Press in its Advanced Legal Studies Series on U.S. Immigration Law that is expected to be published in early 2021.

Professor Benson also teaches Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and several advanced seminars ranging from asylum to business immigration.

EDITING AND PUBLICATIONS:

Co-Author with Mary Crock, Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice (Second Edition, Dec. 2019)

Co-Author, Textbook: Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Strategies, LEXISNEXIS.  A problem based textbook. Published July 1, 2013.  Supplement update published June 2014. And June 2015 update. (Now part of Carolina Academic Press Publications)

Co-Author with Claire Thomas and Careen Shannon, Representing Immigrant Children, Practicing Law Institute, Treatise and Annotated Pleadings (2016).

Co-Editor and Author with Dr. Mary Crock, University of Sydney, Protecting the Migrant Child: Central Issues in the Search for Best Practice, Elgar Press, Human Rights Workbook Series (2016).

Co-Author, Questions and Answers Immigration and Nationality Law: A Student Study Aid, LEXISNEXIS.

U.S. Anti-Discrimination Laws, Contribution to the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), available at www.mipex.eu (Fall 2010 – Spring 2011) (with M. Roeffer).

Contributing Editor, AILA’s Removal and Relief Handbook (American Immigration Lawyers Association (1999)).

Editor, AILA’s Family Immigration Law Handbook (American Immigration Lawyers Association (1994)). Editor of single volume containing articles on family immigration law.

Editor, Immigration Law and Defense (Clark, Boardman & Callaghan 1989-1991). Provided several updates and new chapters, as well as rewriting dated or unclear material in this multi-volume national treatise. The treatise focused on deportation and exclusion proceedings and related forms

CHAPTERS IN BOOKS

“Ethics and Representing Immigrant Children” chapter in Practicing Law Institute 48th Annual Immigration and Nationality Law Program, New York, New York December 4, 2015.

“The Real Borders: Understanding Barriers in U.S. Immigration Law” chapter in book to published in Italy in 2016 prepared for a symposium on citizenship and immigration law held in Procida, Italy July 2014.

“The Myth of Alien Labor Certification.” Cross-Border Human Resources, Labor and Employment Issues (Andrew P. Morris & Samuel Estreicher eds.). 2005.

“Unresolved Issues and Unintended Consequences of IRIRA of 1996: Effects Upon Immigrants’ Rights.” Chapter 3 in XXI In Defense of the Alien (L.F. Tomasi, ed.). Center for Migration Studies, 1999.

“The ‘New World’ of Judicial Review of Removal Orders.” in 1997–1998 Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, Volume II, at 32–59 (R.P. Murphy, ed.). American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1997.

“Judicial Review After the 1996 Legislation.” Chapter 15 in 30th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, at 405–412. Practising Law Institute, 1997.

“Fundamentals of Judicial Review of Orders of Deportation and Exclusion.” in 1996–1997 Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, Volume I, at 484–496 (R.P. Murphy, ed.). American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1996.

“Preparation of a Successful Claim for Political Asylum or Withholding Deportation.” Chapter 1 in 29th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, at 7–18. Practising Law Institute, 1996.

“Surviving to Fight Another Day: Preserving Issues for Appeal.” In 1995–1996 Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, Volume II, at 353–366 (R.P. Murphy, ed.). American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1995.

“Immigration Employer Sanctions and Antidiscrimination Provisions.” Article 8.4 in Arizona Employment Law Handbook, at 8.4-1 – 8.4-17 (T.M. Rogers, ed.). State Bar of Arizona, 1995.

“Exclusion Alert: Your Client May be a Smuggler.” In 1994–1995 Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, Volume II, at 456–462 (R.P. Murphy, ed.). American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1994.

“The Long Last Step: A Discussion of Adjustment of Status and Immigrant Visa Processing.” InWorkshops for Legal Assistants, 1994: Basic Immigration Procedures, at 427–444. Practising Law Institute, 1994.

“Employment-Based Immigration: The First Three Preferences.” In Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook 1991–92, Regulatory Overview, at 140–155 (R.P. Murphy, ed.). American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1991 (with N.B. Elkind). Reprinted in The Immigration Act of 1990 Handbook: The Complete Practice Guide to the 1990 Act. 2nd ed. (H. Sklar & S.I. Folinsky, eds.). Clark, Boardman, Callaghan, 1992.

“Employer Sanctions and Anti-Discrimination Provisions.” In The Immigration Act of 1990 Handbook: The Complete Practice Guide to the 1990 Act. 2nd ed., (H. Sklar & S.I. Folinsky, eds.). Clark, Boardman, Callaghan, 1992; and 1st ed., H. Sklar, ed., 1991.

“Life After Mergers and Acquisitions: The Immigration Impact on U.S. Employers and Alien Workers.” In 1990–1991 Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook (R.P. Murphy, ed.). 1990. Reprinted in 2International Quarterly 22 (1990) (with A. Paparelli).

“The Seasonal Agricultural Workers and Replenishment Workers.” In Immigration and Nationality Law, Volume I (E.R. Rubin & R.E. Juceam, eds.). 43rd Anniversary Symposium of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1989.

LAW REVIEW AND OTHER SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS

“Administrative Chaos: Responding to Child Refugees – U.S. Immigration Process in Crisis,” Washington and Lee Law Review (November 2018).

“Central Issues in the Protection of Child Migrants,” Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, with Mary Crock (Oct 2018).

“Caught in the Web: Immigrant Children in Removal Proceedings,” essay for Impact Center for Social Justice, New York Law School, with Claire R. Thomas (July 2016).

“The Search for Fair Agency Process: the Immigration Opinions of Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, 1994-2010,” Arizona State Law Journal (April 2011).

“As Old as the Hills: Detention and Immigration,” 5 Intercultural Human Rights Law Review 11 (2010).

“Aliens and the State Courts: A Framework for Analysis,” Connecticut State Judiciary Annual Training (June 2009).

“Deportation Procedure and Due Process,” Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court (2009).

“You Can’t Get There From Here: Managing Judicial Review of Immigration Cases,” 2007 University of Chicago Legal Forum 405 (2007).

“Making Paper Dolls: How Restrictions on Judicial Review and the Administrative Process Increase Immigration Cases in the Federal Courts (Symposium: Seeking Review: Immigration Law and Federal Court Jurisdiction),” 51 New York Law School Law Review 37-73 (2006-2007).

“Introduction (Symposium: Seeking Review: Immigration Law and Federal Court Jurisdiction),” 51 New York Law School Law Review 3-11(2006-2007).

“Separate, Unequal and Alien: Comments on the Limits of Brown (New York Law School Faculty Presentation Day II),” 49 New York Law School Law Review 727-739 (2004-2005).

“Breaking Bureaucratic Borders: A Necessary Step Toward Immigration Law Reform.” 54 Administrative Law Review 203–332 (2002).

“The Invisible Worker (Symposium on Work, Migration and Identity),” 27 North Carolina University Law School Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 483-496 (2002).

“The ‘New World’ of Judicial Review of Removal Orders.” 12 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal233–264 (1998).

“Back to the Future: Congress Attacks the Right to Judicial Review of Immigration Proceedings (Symposium: Lady Liberty’s Doorstep: Status and Implications of American Immigration Law).” 29Connecticut Law Review 1411–1499 (1997).

“By Hook or By Crook: Exploring the Legality of an INS Sting Operation.” 31 San Diego Law Review813–859 (1994).

“Desert Survival: The Evolving Western Irrigation District.” 1982 Arizona State Law Journal 377–417 (1982).

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, PRACTICE MATERIALS, AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Bridging the Gap for Immigration Children: Remedies for Children Facing Removal,” August 14, 2014, Practicing Law Institute, New York, New York.

The Federal Power to Preempt State Immigration Regulation” 46th Annual Immigration and Nationality Law Conference, Practicing Law Institute, New York, New York (September 3, 2013).

Enhancing Quality and Timeliness of Immigration Removal Adjudication” with Russell R. Wheeler.

“INS Undercover Operations,” 74 Interpreter Releases 777 (June 13, 1994).

“Immigrant Investors and The First Employment-Based Preference: Priority Workers, in The California Annual Conference Handbook, (American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1992) [with Monica Lukoschek].

“Understanding U.S. Immigration Laws,” paper presented at a conference co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Consulate of the People’s Republic of China and Bryan Cave, LLP, 1992.

“A Practitioner’s Guide to Successful Labor Certifications,” 88 Immigration Briefings 5 (May 1988) [with Roxana C. Bacon].