On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
Home / Biography / Patricia Stottlemyer

Patricia Stottlemyer

Rule of Law and Human Rights Fellow

As the Rule of Law and Human Rights Fellow at Human Rights First, Patricia Stottlemyer works with both the national security and refugee teams to advocate for policies that comply with human rights obligations and respect the rule of law. She helps to lead Human Rights First's impact litigation aimed at protecting access to asylum in the United States, including Damus v. Nielsen, a class-action lawsuit challenging ICE's denial of parole to asylum seekers, and O.A. v. Trump, which challenges the Trump Administration's "asylum ban"—its policy of barring from asylum individuals who enter the United States between ports of entry. 

Her legal analysis and advocacy with the national security team focus on the intersections of the domestic and international legal frameworks governing the use of force, detention, and counterterrorism operations. With the refugee team, she works to ensure that U.S. policy allows meaningful access to asylum, with an emphasis on the national security implications of refugee and asylum protections. She co-authored an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of retired generals and admirals of the U.S. armed forces, arguing that the "Travel Ban" is harmful to U.S. national security interests. 

Patricia obtained her juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was a Toll Public Interest Scholar and a senior editor on the Journal of Constitutional Law. While at Penn Law, she also obtained a graduate certificate in Middle East and Islamic Studies. She served as a student legal representative in the Transnational Legal Clinic, where she handled defensive asylum cases, adjustments of status, and petitions for victims of trafficking. Patricia was the founding editor-in-chief of the Penn Law Global Affairs Blog. During her summers, she worked with the United Nations Register of Damage and the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program.

Prior to law school, Patricia worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Project on Middle East Democracy, and was a recipient of the State Department's Critical Language Scholarship for Modern Standard Arabic. She has a B.A. in international politics with a specialization in the MENA region, and a minor in Arabic, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

November 27, 2018
This year the Trump Administration has engaged in an unprecedented assault on asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection at the southern border. From criminally prosecuting asylum...
October 29, 2018
The Pentagon is reportedly considering a new military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. It would be the U.S. government’s second attempt to try Indonesian detainee Riduan bin Isomuddin, known as...
January 30, 2018
An American citizen accused of being an ISIS member is challenging the U.S. military’s authority to detain him. The unnamed detainee (“John Doe” in legal documents) had been held for three months in...
Related Campaigns & Topics
January 10, 2018
This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering whether to advance the nomination of Howard C. Nielson to be a federal judge. His record raises serious concerns about his qualifications to...