As Litigation Staff Attorney 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.
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