Biography

Claire R. Thomas  is an attorney, advocate, and adjunct professor. Her interests and expertise include: U.S. immigration law, asylum and refugee law, unaccompanied children, immigrant access to public benefits, and empowerment for women and girls facing poverty and gender-based violence.

She graduated from the University of Chicago and also studied at the Université de Paris X, Nanterre. She holds a graduate degree from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and a law degree from New York Law School. She was a visiting scholar at The New School's Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility.

Claire directs the Asylum Clinic at New York Law School, in which she teaches law students how to represent immigrants seeking asylum and other humanitarian immigration protections in the United States. As an Adjunct Professor at NYLS, she also teaches the introductory immigration law course. She is also a contract attorney with CUNY Citizenship Now! and assists immigrants applying for naturalization, and is a consultant for The Door, a NYC non-profit, in which she supervises attorneys working with immigrant youth.

Previously, she provided local and national trainings on immigration law to over 5,000 individuals with the Safe Passage Project, and advocated for the rights of African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern immigrants at African Services Committee, a Harlem-based non-profit assisting persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Claire's television appearances include Voice of America in both English and French. She has been quoted in local and national publications including The New York Times, The Bangkok Post, The New Statesman, The Queens Daily Eagle and Law at the Margins. Her Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor have been published in the Queens Daily Eagle, Women Across Frontiers, and the New York Times. Her academic publications (Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Drexel Law Review, and New York Law School) focus on unaccompanied children in immigration removal proceedings and immigrant access to public benefits.

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