Angela Kelley


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

As Vice President, Angela applies her 20 years of experience in the immigration field to the Center’s stepped-up immigration initiative, overseeing and coordinating the Center’s work in this area.

Throughout her career, Angela has been at the forefront of policy debates regarding changes in immigration policy and the historic creation of the Department of Homeland Security following the 911 terrorist attacks.

Angela’s sharp and credible political analyses make her a frequent speaker before other policy groups, and she is often asked by news organizations to comment on policy and political developments related to immigration. She is regularly quoted by all of the major national and regional news organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico, and also has appeared on national television and radio networks including PBS, MSNBC, Fox, and National Public Radio.

Before joining the Center in 2009, Angela 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, Angela 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, Angela was a front-line negotiator as Congress debated in 2006 and 2007 proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Other major legislative work by Angela 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. Angela was previously part of the successful NACARA and HRIFA campaigns to secure immigration benefits for certain Nicaraguans, Cubans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Haitians.

Angela 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.

She is a graduate of George Washington University Law Center and was a fellow with Georgetown University's Women's Law and Public Policy Program.

The daughter of Bolivian and Colombian immigrant parents, Angela is the mother of two young girls.