E.g., 08/02/2021
E.g., 08/02/2021
David A. Martin
Experts & Staff
author Martin

David A. Martin

Nonresident Fellow
Professor of International Law, University of Virginia

David A. Martin is the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1980. He has published numerous books and articles in scholarly journals on immigration, refugees, constitutional law, and international law, including a leading casebook on immigration and citizenship law in its seventh edition. His op-ed commentary has been published in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Legal Times, and The National Law Journal, among others.

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As Principal Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from January 2009 to December 2010, and in earlier government service at the Department of State and the Department of Justice (including appointment as General Counsel to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1995-98), he was closely involved in critical legal and policy developments in the immigration field. These included the Refugee Act of 1980, a major alteration of U.S. asylum procedures in 1995, implementation of the 1996 statutory amendments to the immigration laws, recent reforms of enforcement priorities and the detention system used in connection with immigration removal proceedings, and the federal government’s 2010 lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration enforcement law. He also served as DHS’ representative on the interdepartmental task forces created by President Obama’s executive orders for evaluating the cases of all detainees at Guantánamo and for considering overall detention policies in the battle against terrorism.

A graduate of DePauw University and Yale Law School, Mr. Martin served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright and Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Bio Page Tabs

In addition to post-September 11 security concerns, the U.S. is dealing with less predictable refugee flows. David Martin of the University of Virginia School of Law reports.

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
July 2006

New immigration legislation must include changes to achieve effective and resolute enforcement of the immigration laws. Because border and workplace enforcement have been addressed elsewhere, this policy brief offers suggestions for other key enforcement improvements that Congress should implement.

Policy Briefs
June 2005

This policy brief examines the “twilight status” or the de facto partial recognition of two particular categories of immigrants within the United States’ broader undocumented population: those with legally recognized claims to eventual lawful permanent resident status; and those with legally recognized temporary statuses.


In addition to post-September 11 security concerns, the U.S. is dealing with less predictable refugee flows. David Martin of the University of Virginia School of Law reports.

May, 2005

Over the past four years, the United States has resettled far fewer refugees than it did in the 1990s. The decline has stemmed partly from post-9/11 security measures. But this book explains other, deeper reasons, deriving from changes in how and why refugees move, how asylum states receive them, and the world community's response. It also suggests steps to restore the program and better address real refugee needs.

Policy Briefs
April 2003

On November 25, 2002, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act, which effectively overhauled the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and called for a massive reorganization of immigration functions under the newly formed Department of Homeland Security (DHS).This report outlines key changes incurred, highlights points of concern and offers policy recommendations aimed at remedying some of these concerns.