E.g., 08/31/2014
E.g., 08/31/2014

Muzaffar Chishti

Experts & Staff

Muzaffar Chishti

Director, MPI's office at NYU School of Law

Muzaffar Chishti, a lawyer, is Director of MPI’s office at New York University School of Law. His work focuses on U.S. immigration policy at the federal, state, and local levels; the intersection of labor and immigration law; immigration enforcement; civil liberties; and immigrant integration.

Prior to joining MPI, Mr. Chishti was Director of the Immigration Project of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees (UNITE).

Mr. Chishti is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Law Center and serves on the boards of the New York Immigration Coalition and the Asian American Federation. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Forum and as a member of the American Bar Association’s Coordinating Committee on Immigration.

Mr. Chishti has testified extensively on immigration policy issues before Congress and is frequently quoted in the media. In 1992, as part of a U.S. team, he assisted the Russian Parliament in drafting its legislation on forced migrants and refugees. He is a 1994 recipient of the New York State Governor's Award for Outstanding Asian Americans and a 1995 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Mr. Chishti was educated at St. Stephen's College, Delhi; the University of Delhi; Cornell Law School; and the Columbia School of International Affairs.

Bio Page Tabs

Policy Briefs
January 2014
By Muzaffar Chishti and Charles Kamasaki
Reports
January 2013
By Doris Meissner, Donald M. Kerwin, Muzaffar Chishti, and Claire Bergeron
Fact Sheets
August 2011
By Michelle Mittelstadt, Burke Speaker, Doris Meissner, and Muzaffar Chishti
Reports
January 2011
By Randy Capps, Marc R. Rosenblum, Muzaffar Chishti, and Cristina Rodríguez
Reports
March 2010
By Cristina Rodríguez , Muzaffar Chishti, Randy Capps, and Laura St. John
Reports
December 2007
By Cristina Rodríguez , Muzaffar Chishti, and Kimberly Nortman
Policy Briefs
May 2007
By Muzaffar Chishti
Reports
March 2003
By Muzaffar Chishti, Doris Meissner, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Michael Wishnie, Steve Yale-Loehr, and Jay Peterzell
Video, Audio
April 29, 2014

This MPI panel discussion examines the U.S. deportation system with analysis on migrant apprehensions, removals, returns, and criminal prosecutions, and launches the report, "The Deportation Dilemma: Reconciling Tough and Humane Enforcement."

Video, Audio
October 31, 2013

The 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, as well as panel discussions covering a range of key immigration topics.

Video, Audio
August 7, 2013

MPI experts participate in a video chat shortly after the Migration Policy Institute released an analysis comparing the major provisions of the Senate bill to those of the individual House bills considered to date in House committees. 

Video, Audio
March 19, 2013

This discussion covers some of the most difficult issues that must be addressed if the United States is to reform its immigration system in ways that work not only for today’s reality but tomorrow’s future.

Video, Audio
January 7, 2013

MPI has released a major study that describes and analyzes today’s immigration enforcement programs, as they have developed and grown in the 25 years since IRCA launched the current enforcement era.

Pages

Testimony
February 2013

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's office in New York, before the House Judiciary Committee.

Testimony
March 2009

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's Office at New York University Law School, before the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Testimony
April 2007

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, director of MPI’s Office at NYU School of Law, before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security. 

Testimony
March 2004

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims.

Testimony
November 2003

Testimony of MPI's Muzaffar Chishti before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship.

When Congress returns from recess in September, lawmakers will need to pick up where they left off on approving an emergency spending bill to address unaccompanied migrant children at the border. This article previews upcoming battles in Congress and analyzes how the recent border crisis is changing the broader immigration debate in the United States.

The phenomenon of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, typically after an arduous and often dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico, has reached a crisis proportion, with a 90 percent spike in arrivals from last year and predictions of future increases ahead.

In a decision that received little notice, the Supreme Court in mid-March declined to review federal appellate decisions that struck down controversial local immigration ordinances in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Farmers Branch, Texas—bringing to a close a contentious chapter in immigration litigation. This article also explores President Obama’s decision to order a review of deportation policies, Chile’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program, and more.

The small window for enactment of a major U.S. immigration overhaul during 2014 seems to have closed. A trial balloon testing House Republicans’ willingness to proceed this year was quickly floated and dropped. Amid a focus on politics and timing, less noted was the reality that for the first time, House Republican leaders have affirmed support for a policy that would move the party closer to compromise over the most vexing question holding up immigration reform: what to do with the nation’s unauthorized immigrants.

While some argue that the clock has run out on immigration reform in the 113th Congress, which runs through 2014, others counter that the finish line remains in sight.

With the state of Alabama's recent legal settlement ensuring that key portions of its highly contested immigration enforcement law will never take effect, an important chapter of heightened activism by states in immigration enforcement has drawn to a near close. This article explores Alabama's decision, which traces its roots to the Supreme Court's 2012 ruling in Arizona v. United States, as well as the Infosys civil settlement with federal prosecutors over its use of foreign workers, new refugee admission numbers, extension of Temporary Protected Status for Somalis, and more.

While budget issues and the debt ceiling dominated the congressional agenda and public attention last week, thousands of activists in Washington were stepping up civil disobedience and mobilization tactics to pressure lawmakers into voting to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. This article explores this growing trend and its possible implications for immigration reform in the 113th Congress. It also provides an update on other national, state, and local developments in immigration policy.

Iowa has just become the third state to gain access to federal SAVE immigration data for the purpose of removing noncitizens from its voter lists. This practice, which signifies a major departure from the system's intended purposes, comes amid renewed focus over voting rights. This article explores the recent surge in state activism regarding the possibility of noncitizen voting and also examines the current leadership vacuum in the Department of Homeland Security, new guidance for immigration benefits for same-sex couples, and more.

On June 27, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to overhaul the U.S. immigration system on a scale not seen in decades. Despite this major breakthrough, it is clear that immigration reform faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives, where the dynamics are much different than in the Senate. This article assesses the prospects for immigration reform in the House, explores provisions of the Senate bill, the implications for U.S. immigration policy of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, and more.

As the U.S. Senate continues its debate over a bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system, the fiscal impacts associated with enactment of such legislation have emerged as a divisive issue. Following the release of an official congressional cost estimate on Tuesday, this article examines the crucial question of how immigrants' contributions to the tax base compare to the public benefits they would receive under S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

State-level immigration laws have gradually softened in tone since the Supreme Court in 2012 affirmed federal primacy in immigration enforcement in a landmark Arizona case — a trend further solidified by a changed post-election political calculus on immigration reform. This article examines this unanticipated shift away from restrictive state immigration actions as well as the recent new trend in the passage of immigrant-friendly laws regarding in-state tuition and the granting of driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants.

After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators informally called the "Gang of Eight" in mid-April introduced long-awaited legislation for sweeping reform of the U.S. immigration system. This article provides a summary of the Senate bill's provisions and outlines the main critiques and obstacles ahead, including a tight legislative calendar, a difficult political dynamic in the House of Representatives, and an early stumbling block precipitated by the Boston Marathon bombing.

Across-the-board federal budget cuts went into effect on March 1, and effects are already being felt in a wide range of immigration functions. This article explores how the sequester has and will be impacting the U.S. immigration system, focusing on the federal government's recent decision to release immigration detainees on bond or to less costly supervision programs. It also takes a look at stateside processing of I-601 waivers, new policy guidance on immigration enforcement at community establishments, and more.

Immigration reform is squarely back on the agenda in Washington, with the unveiling of plans for major reform of the U.S. immigration system by the White House and a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight. This article explores the policy and political aspects of this fast-moving debate, examines an uptick in apprehensions of illegal crossers, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the new Department of Homeland Security rule on the filing of unlawful presence waivers, ICE's FY 2012 deportations and new detainer policy, and more.

MPI’s Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the ongoing debate surrounding driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants, new immigration bills in Congress, proposed rules governing ICE detention, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the prospects for immigration reform in the 113th Congress, delays in the creation of a racial profiling statistical monitoring tool for Secure Communities, an increase in Mexican asylum seekers, and more.

The Obama administration has announced a new policy recognizing same-sex relationships in immigration matters – the latest of several such developments since 2011. This article explores the expansion in same-sex couple recognition; it also reports on the STEM visa bill's fate, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's position on deferred action, Taiwan's inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program, and more.

Tax liability for income earned overseas by Americans has been part of the U.S. tax system since the federal income tax was first introduced in 1861. Since 2009, the United States has witnessed a rise in citizenship renunciation, especially among the affluent. Some see this as a barometer of the waning appeal of U.S. citizenship, which has been and remains an aspirational goal for many around the world. However, it seems as though legislative and regulatory factors may be the more likely triggers for this new trend.

Notwithstanding the opportunities for qualified unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as youth offered through the newly implemented deferred action program, the policy's success still faces implementation and other challenges. Muzaffar Chishti and Faye Hipsman examine the issues that remain unaddressed in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Obama administration’s decision to shield from deportation unauthorized immigrant youth who meet certain qualifications represents the boldest immigration policy undertaken by this White House. MPI’s Muzaffar Chishti and Faye Hipsman examine what comes next and explore some of the new policy’s unanswered questions and implementation challenges.

MPI’s Muzaffar Chishti, Faye Hipsman, and Claire Bergeron examine the potential outcomes to the Supreme Court’s decision on a key provision to Arizona’s SB 1070 law.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the reaction to ICE's new detention reforms, the Supreme Court's recent decision in Vartelas v. Holder, the designation of Syria for TPS, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on new proposals to amend the E-3 visa program to admit Irish nationals, decisions blocking implementation of more provisions of SB 1070 and HB 56, the Supreme Court's recent decision holding two tax evasion crimes are aggravated felonies, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Obama administration's new prosecutorial discretion policy and proposed new rule for unlawful presence waivers, a new plan to promote US tourism, the newly designated H-2A and H-2B countries, and more.

Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Faye Hipsman report on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to decide the constitutionality of Arizona's SB 1070, passage in the House of the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011, DOJ lawsuits in Utah and South Carolina, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and the impact that law has had on past and present immigration policies.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the halted implementation of Alabama's HB 56, the new DHS prosecutorial discretion policy, the opening of the 2013 diversity visa lottery, and more.

Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the immigration measures enacted in response to 9/11 and the fate of those measures ten years later.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against Alabama's new immigration enforcement law, policy changes in the Secure Communities program, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the recent Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the ongoing controversy surrounding states' participation in Secure Communities, the extension of TPS for Haitian nationals, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the NSEERS program, legal challenges to the new Utah laws, the continued controversy surrounding Secure Communities, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 9th Circuit Court ruling on SB 1070, current trends in immigration legislation at the state level, President Obama's recent comments on executive action and immigration reform, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Lang Hoyt report on the Secure Communities program, a new State Department initiative allowing the same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats to apply for J-1 visas, additional funding for immigration agencies in the proposed 2012 Homeland Security budget, and more.

In this month's policy beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the Secure Border Initiative Network, the status of the USCIS Transformation project, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the rise in state-level action on immigration enforcement, the resuming deportations of Haitians, Mexico's inclusion in the Global Entry trusted traveler program, and more.

As an update to this month's Policy Beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the DREAM Act's failure in the Senate.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Kristen McCabe report on the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in the House, Supreme Court oral arguments on the Legal Arizona Workers Act, the record number of diversity visa applicants, and more.

The results of the 2010 elections seem likely to ensure a standoff on any immigration legislation and more immigration enforcement measures at the state level, as
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report. Also in this edition: Boeing no longer working on virtual fence, temporary protected status extended for Somalis, ban on unauthorized immigrant students at certain Georgia state universities, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron examine why the Senate recently considered the DREAM Act and two other immigration bills, as well as whether local governments can opt out of Secure Communities, immigration cases before the Supreme Court, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on how enforcement now targets criminal aliens, the striking down of immigration ordinances in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, the dismissal of two SB 1070 lawsuits in Arizona, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron break down the injunction against Arizona's immigration law and report on the debate over birthright citizenship, the passage of a $600 million border security bill, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Justice Department's suit against Arizona's newest immigration law and the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case challenging the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act. Also in this edition: Haitian nationals get more time to file for Temporary Protected Status, the House approves $701 million for border security measures, Tennessee enacts an immigration enforcement bill, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on President Barack Obama's decision to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border, the continued debate over Arizona's immigration law, the State Department's 2010 trafficking report, increased U.S. immigration application fees and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron take an in-depth look at Arizona's SB 1070, from the range of responses to what it means for federal immigration reform. Also in this edition: a bill that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of those found helping terrorists, more delays for the "virtual fence," increased approvals for Mexican nationals' asylum applications, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Padilla v. Kentucky, Arizona's passage of a controversial immigration bill, Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham's immigration reform blueprint, the latest H-1B application numbers, and more

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the decreasing size of the unauthorized immigrant population, a ruling against immigration provisions in an Oklahoma law, the rise in detained immigrants with criminal convictions, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigration measures for Haitian nationals, the new Supreme Court decision on motions to reopen deportation cases, delays in the implementation of the Secure Border Initiative, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the new "CIR-ASAP" bill, the H-1B visa program, new ICE policies for detained asylum seekers, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on EB-5 investor visas, audits of employers suspected of hiring unauthorized immigrants, the virtual border fence, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on a proposal to ask about citizenship in the decennial census, ICE's new 287(g) agreements, the end of the HIV travel ban, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigrant provisions in current health-care reform legislation, ICE's plans to make detention more "civil," a small drop in the size of the U.S. foreign-born population, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Senator Edward Kennedy's contributions to U.S. immigration policy, the end of arrest quotas in ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, E-Verify for federal contractors, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the expansion of the 287(g) immigration enforcement program, ICE's planned detention overhaul, immigration from Mexico and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigration enforcement policy changes, Obama's immigration summit, grants to states for incarcerating unauthorized immigrants, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Secure Communities program, suspension of a rule for temporary agricultural workers, the decline in arrests along the U.S. border, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on a recent Supreme Court decision, hearings on comprehensive immigration reform, new worksite enforcement operation guidelines, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Obama administration and immigration reform, the shift in enforcement policy, additional resources for the U.S.-Mexico border, fewer requests for H-1B visas, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on 287(g) partnerships, immigration measures in the economic stimulus package, the surge in Mexican asylum seekers, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Obama administration's review of previous immigration policies, access to health care for immigrant children under SCHIP, remittances to Mexico, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigration policy decisions facing the Obama administration, permanent residence for trafficking victims, US-VISIT's extension to U.S. permanent residents, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's nomination to head homeland security, changes to the H-2A program, suspension of a refugee family-reunification program, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 2008 presidential election, two Supreme Court cases on immigration, Arizona Proposition 202, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the decrease in unauthorized immigration, the latest ruling on Arizona's employer-sanctions law, Iraqi refugees, Alabama and Arkansas on the in-state tuition debate, and more.

MPI's Claire Bergeron and Muzaffar Chishti report on the Democratic and Republican platforms, the worksite raid in Mississippi, the new citizenship test, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Scheduled Departure program, special visas for Iraqi nationals, hospital "deportations," and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigrant detainee medical care, a federal court's dismissal of Arar v. Ashcroft, the National Guard leaving the Southwest border, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on criminal arrests at a recent ICE raid, medical care in ICE custody, H-2B visas, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on new immigration reform bills, the veto of Arizona's enforcement bill, remittances to Latin America, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the H-1B visa window, Real ID regulations, Arizona's proposed guest worker program, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the virtual border fence in Arizona, House immigration talks, increased fines for employers of unauthorized immigrants, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the USCIS naturalization application backlog, final Real ID regulations, proposed H-2A visa changes, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Arizona's employer sanctions law, a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passport provision delay, H-2B caps, and more.

India receives more remittances than any other country in the world. MPI's Muzaffar Chishti explores the factors responsible for remittance growth in the last 15 years.

MPI Senior Policy Analyst Muzaffar Chishti looks at the wider implications of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the rights of "enemy combatants."

Resolving complex legal, social, and security issues after Sept. 11 will not be easy. But what does immigration have to do with it? Muzaffar Chishti, MPI Senior Policy Analyst, explains.

Policy Briefs
January 2014
By Muzaffar Chishti and Charles Kamasaki
Reports
January 2013
By Doris Meissner, Donald M. Kerwin, Muzaffar Chishti, and Claire Bergeron
Fact Sheets
August 2011
By Michelle Mittelstadt, Burke Speaker, Doris Meissner, and Muzaffar Chishti
Reports
January 2011
By Randy Capps, Marc R. Rosenblum, Muzaffar Chishti, and Cristina Rodríguez
Reports
March 2010
By Cristina Rodríguez , Muzaffar Chishti, Randy Capps, and Laura St. John
Reports
December 2007
By Cristina Rodríguez , Muzaffar Chishti, and Kimberly Nortman
Policy Briefs
May 2007
By Muzaffar Chishti
Reports
March 2003
By Muzaffar Chishti, Doris Meissner, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Michael Wishnie, Steve Yale-Loehr, and Jay Peterzell
Video, Audio
April 29, 2014

This MPI panel discussion examines the U.S. deportation system with analysis on migrant apprehensions, removals, returns, and criminal prosecutions, and launches the report, "The Deportation Dilemma: Reconciling Tough and Humane Enforcement."

Video, Audio
October 31, 2013

The 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, as well as panel discussions covering a range of key immigration topics.

Video, Audio
August 7, 2013

MPI experts participate in a video chat shortly after the Migration Policy Institute released an analysis comparing the major provisions of the Senate bill to those of the individual House bills considered to date in House committees. 

Video, Audio
March 19, 2013

This discussion covers some of the most difficult issues that must be addressed if the United States is to reform its immigration system in ways that work not only for today’s reality but tomorrow’s future.

Video, Audio
January 7, 2013

MPI has released a major study that describes and analyzes today’s immigration enforcement programs, as they have developed and grown in the 25 years since IRCA launched the current enforcement era.

Pages

Testimony
February 2013

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's office in New York, before the House Judiciary Committee.

Testimony
March 2009

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's Office at New York University Law School, before the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Testimony
April 2007

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, director of MPI’s Office at NYU School of Law, before the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security. 

Testimony
March 2004

Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims.

Testimony
November 2003

Testimony of MPI's Muzaffar Chishti before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship.