Subscribe to First Page and join our fight for human rightsSign Up
Home / Biography / Eleanor Acer

Eleanor Acer

Senior Director, Refugee Protection

As the director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program, Eleanor Acer oversees Human Rights First’s research and advocacy on issues relating to refugee protection, asylum, and migrants’ rights. Eleanor advocates, speaks and writes regularly on issues relating to the human rights of refugees and migrants, including legal representation, detention, U.S. asylum law and policy, U.S. global refugee protection and resettlement policies, and protection from xenophobic and bias-motivated violence. She works closely with Human Rights First’s pro bono legal representation team, conducts field research, has authored numerous reports and articles, and has testified before the U.S. Congress.

Eleanor was awarded the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for Public Service by Fordham University School of Law in 2007. She was selected by the American Bar Association to serve on its Commission on Immigration, and serves on the Advisory Board of the International Detention Coalition. She was also vice chair of the Refugee Council USA from 2006 to 2008. She has taught classes on refugee protection and migrants rights as an adjunct professor at the New School’s Graduate Program in International Affairs.

Before coming to Human Rights First, Eleanor was an associate handling federal litigation at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP. She has coordinated mentoring programs and has served on the International Human Rights Committee and Immigration Committee of the Association of the Bar of New York, as well as the Board of Advisors to the Crowley Program in International Human Rights at Fordham University School of Law. Eleanor received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and her B.A. in History from Brown University.

Featured Work

March 04, 2022
Cites Human Rights First research in noting harms to victims of Title 42 WASHINGTON D.C.  -- In the wake of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Hisha Huisha v. Mayorkas, Human Rights...
February 18, 2022
WASHINGTON — Today, the Supreme Court granted the Biden administration’s request for expedited review of a lower court decision forcing it to reimplement the deadly Remain in Mexico policy (absurdly...
February 04, 2022
WASHINGTON – More than a year after President Biden’s Executive Order directing steps to restore asylum at the United States border, CBS News reports that the Centers for Disease Control and...
February 01, 2022
One year ago, on February 2, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing steps to manage migration in North and Central America and to “restore and strengthen our own asylum system,”...