WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today the hiring of Lorella Praeli as director of immigration policy and campaigns. Lorella will work with ACLU policy advocates, litigators, organizers and activists in 53 state offices and national offices in New York and Washington to shape the organization’s advocacy and engagement on immigration and other key issue areas.
“There’s an incredible wealth of grassroots energy around the country right now from people who want to be engaged in the fight. As one of the most accomplished and talented immigration leaders in the country, that’s been Lorella’s specialty for years. We’re lucky to have her, and she’s going to play a key role in helping our organization navigate a moment of profound national importance,” said Faiz Shakir, ACLU national political director.
Praeli was most recently the national latino vote director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. She had previously served as director of advocacy and policy for United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. There, she led UWD’s push to implement Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), pass comprehensive immigration reform, and persuade the Obama administration to protect four million undocumented immigrants through Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Praeli came to the United States from Perú as a child and spent almost 13 years as an undocumented immigrant.
“I was deeply saddened by the results on Election Night, but I knew that our country would stand up and fight to protect our core values of inclusion, diversity and opportunity,” said Praeli. “In his first 100 days, Trump has waged an all-out war on immigrants and refugees with parallel restrictionist measures being advanced in anti-immigrant state legislatures. But the ACLU has been at forefront of these battles; whether in courtrooms, the halls of Congress, state houses, or in the streets. I’m honored to join the ACLU to continue the fight for American values and to defend and expand the rights of every American — whether documented or not.”
As director of immigration policy and campaigns, Praeli will lead the immigration federal and state advocacy teams. She’ll also play a key role in shaping the ACLU’s new grassroots organizing work, and liaise with Congressional offices and federal agencies on priority issue areas.